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LHC chief justice summons CM Maryam Nawaz on May 24

By News Desk

May 20, 2024 12:10 PM

File Photos of Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz and LHC Chief Justice Malik Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan

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Lahore High Court (LHC) summoned Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Maryam Nawaz Sharif on May 24 for non-appointment of judges in special courts including anti-terrorism.
According to the 24NewsHD TV channel, the Chief Justice of LHC Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan heard the case of the Punjab government on Monday and summoned the CM.
During the last hearing of the case regarding the appointment of judges in anti-terrorism courts of the province on May 17, 2024, Punjab Government’s Cabinet committee failed to convince the LHC Chief Justice.
While categorically rejecting the Cabinet committee’s demand of providing a list of the judges, LHC Chief Justice directed the committee, which was assigned the task to approve the names of the judges, to submit compliance report on May 20, 2024. Punjab Law Minister Sohaib Ahmed, Senior Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman personally appeared in the court and requested the Chief Justice to hear case in the chamber which was refused by the court.
Advocate General Punjab Khalid Ishaq told Chief Justice that meaningful negotiations was a legal procedure and a panel of three judges is sent by the Chief Justice Lahore High Court to the government for the appointment of special court judges.
On this the Chief Justice asked the AGP where is written in the law that the Chief Justice will send a panel for the judges.
The Advocate General replied that although it was not an absolute rule, it was generally the case in the past. AGP again requested that the Chief Justice should send a panel of names of three or four judges for the appointments.
Meanwhile, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman also requested the court to provide a panel of three or four judges to decide on their appointments.
LHC chief Justice remarked that where it is written in the law that Chief Justice was liable to send the names? Justice Shahzad said that the “court was not bound to follow any course of action which is illegal to follow”. Chief Justice further remarked that all parliamentarians were respectful to this court and several decisions of this court were in favor of parliamentarians.
Senior Provincial Minister told the court that the Punjab government had established a committee. She requested the court to hear the matter in chambers. Marriyum further added that she had no objection to the nomination of the names of the judges and only requested for meaningful negotiations.
The Chief Justice made it clear to Marriyum Aurangzeb, “whatever you have to say please utter in the open court”. On the occasion the Law Minister and the Advocate General repeated the request to the CJ to provide a panel of judges, then Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan remarked, “I am not providing a panel, the law does not allow it”.
LHC Chief Justice said, “Now it is up to the government to express in the open court if they have any objection to these judges”.
Maryam Aurangzeb told the court that “last week this matter was put up in the cabinet meeting and a committee was formed which appeared in the court today”. CJ Malik Shahzad remarked that “a committee or commission is formed on the issues where a decision is not required. According to the law, the government has to take a decision within seven days to appoint the judges of the special court”.
Law Minister said that if the Chief Justice sends a panel of 2, 3 or 4 judges, the govt will be able to finalize the names soon. The court remarked that “there was no law which made it mandatory for the Chief Justice to send the names of the panel. If there is any such law, let the govt inform the court”. Law Minister added that this was a practice. Citing an example, the court said that if a drug dealer seeks permission to sell drugs, he will not be allowed if he is selling to others. Later Maryam Aurangzeb asked the court to give some time to the committee for consultation.
On the request of Marriyum Aurangzeb, the court gave the cabinet committee till May 20 for a meaningful consultation regarding the appointment of special court judges.

On May 16, 2024, LHC Chief Justice during a heated argument with Advocate General Punjab said that three years had lapsed and LHC had written a number of letters to the Punjab government seeking the appointment of the judges of special courts but the Govt was ignoring the court’s requests.
On this Advocate General Punjab told Chief Justice Malik Shahzad that once a meaningful negotiation procedure was followed, govt would appoint judges at once.
On this LHC Chief Justice said that during the last hearing Advocate General Punjab had said that govt would approve the appointment during the Cabinet meeting but now you (AGP) were talking of meaningful negotiations. There were contradictions in AGP’s statements.
LHC Chief Justice while addressing AGP said: “The court does not want to create problems for AGP and he himself was digging an abyss. CJ said govt doesn’t care if courts remain empty, people remain in jails without trial. The CJ asked whether the government wanted to appoint judges of their own choice, whether was this a meaningful negotiation”.
AGP on CJ’s remarks said, “It was not the case, to hold meaningful negotiations, Cabinet committee was ready to visit here and after meaningful negotiations, judges appointment will be made not in days but in hours”.
Chief Justice Shahzad on the AGP statement, directed him to ask the Cabinet committee to come here tomorrow and submit its statement on meaningful talks. The CJ said the court does not want to interfere in Govt’s matters.
LHC CJ advised the govt to perform its duty as how many times, as Registrar HC requested the govt to have mercy on people. AGP said the Cabinet committee was ready to hold negotiations with the Registrar High Court when the court gave the order as it was an executive issue.
CJ Malik Shahzad questioned AGP whether this method was adopted before. On this AGP said, “This method was used in the past but he has no record of the past”. On this CJ directed the Cabinet Committee to come and hold negotiations with Registrar High Court.
The CJ made it clear to AGP that the court can also summon Chief Minister Punjab. Justice Shahzad Malik said, “if the government wanted to bring judges of their own choice then the government should bring amendment in the law and the procedure of judges’ appointment should be changed”.

Reporter: Malik Ashraf

News Desk

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