ISLAMABAD: The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Thursday failed to confirm the elevation of Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court.
A meeting of commission chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed ended with the emerging verdict in a tie. The session considered the elevation of Justice Malik’s to the apex court.
The chief justice recommends the name of a high court judge for appointment to the Supreme Court, which is then approved by the JCP. If her name had been approved, Justice Malik would have been the first woman judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
According to sources, Supreme Court Judge Qazi Faez Isa could not attend the meeting as he is abroad, so his vote on the matter was not part of the decision.
CJP Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan and Minister for Law Farogh Naseem supported the appointment of Justice Malik to the apex court.
Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, representative of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and former judge, Justice retired Dost Mohammad. voted against the appointment.
Under the Constitution of Pakistan, the name cannot be finalised unless the majority approves it so technically Justice Ayesha Malik’s name has been rejected.
The Attorney General suggested that the judgments and record of women judges of other high courts should also be reviewed and the matter should be referred for the next meeting, but no agreement was reached on this issue.
Many lawyers had protested the appointment of Justice Malik to the Supreme Court, saying that the seniority principle must be considered in the appointment of judges.