Petition against alleged illegal appointments in Islamabad High Court is talk of the twin cities

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The Petition against alleged illegal appointments in Islamabad High Court is talk of the twin cities

 illegal appointments in Islamabad High Court

Islamabad, Pakistan: The constitutional petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution in Supreme Court of Pakistan against the alleged illegal appointments of 73 staffers done by the Islamabad High Court has become a talk of the twin cities and legal circles of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are waiting the next hearing of the case that is fixed on January 26.

The petition was filed on December 31, 2013 by the former vice president of IHC, Chaudhry Muhammad Akram under Article 184(3) of the constitution and requested the court to initiate legal proceedings against all those involved in the appointments. The petition claimed that appointments of all important positions in Islamabad High Court are illegal and in contradiction to the rule of law including the appointments of the Registrar, the deputy registrar and other officials.

In response to the petition, the Registrar (whose appointment is also challenged in the petition) submitted a reply to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Islamabad High Court in March 2014 stating that all appointments were in accordance with the rules and laws and took a position that the Petitioner (Chaudhry Muhammad Akram) had no legal standing to submit this petition.

In his reply to the petition, the Registrar of IHC said that:

“The chief justice IHC opted to fill the 19 posts by relaxing the rules in terms of Rule 16 and 18 of the Islamabad High Court Establishment (Conditions of Service) Rules 2011. The total strength of the high court is 400 employees, and 19 appointments made in relaxation of the rules are not a big figure to be highlighted by anyone. All the appointments made by the chief justice IHC were within the parameters fixed by the high court rules. Besides, the impartiality and integrity of the judges of the court remained above board. The chief justice was competent to relax rules. Petitioner had no locus standi (legal standing) to file the petition as none of his guaranteed fundamental rights had been infringed and status being a citizen of Pakistan cannot be considered a sufficient reason to challenge the powers of the chief justice. The petition was filed after a lapse of more than two years after the appointments therefore; the petition is not maintainable and should be dismissed by the apex court”.

The petition is based on observations of Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) report that observe alleged gross violations in appointments in the IHC. The report indicated that during the scrutiny of the appointments, the auditors observed that:

Not a single appointment had been made on merit.

Appointments were made in relaxation of rules.

Generally, the absorption (of staff) is made in the same scale or one stage above but in the IHC the deputing officers were absorbed in much higher scales.

It is more alarming that even after advertising the posts of non-gazetted cadres, they were still filled by relaxing the rules and the applicants who had applied against the said posts were deprived of their fundamental right to compete for the job.

Mr. Shakeel Raza was working in the Balochistan Assembly in BPS-7 and was absorbed in the IHC in BPS-17.

Mr. Usman Mir as working in a private bank as credit risk analyst and was appointed as Assistant Registrar in BPS-18 in IHC.

There was no justification for invoking the rule (about relaxing the rule for making appointments).


Now the three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk is hearing this constitutional petition and next hearing of the case is fixed on January 26, 2015.

It may be mentioned that all appointments in questions were made almost in same era when current Chief Justice was a Judge of IHC before elevating as the Chief Justice and Petitioner claims that relatives of judges including the relative of Chief Justice Hon’ble Mr. Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi were accommodated through relaxation of rules and by setting aside procedures.

Chief Justice Hon’ble Mr. Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi  is a descendent of a famous Pashtun tribe “Kasi” settled in Quetta and around since ages and is respected very much in the legal circles.  Born in an educated business family on 28th November 1956, he received his early education from Tameer-Nau Public School Quetta.   After doing his FSc from Government Science College Quetta in 1975, he did his graduation from the University of Baluchistan in 1978.   Thereafter he received his Masters degree in Economics in 1st Division and LLB from Baluchistan University in 1980-81.   He was enrolled as an advocate in 1982.   After practicing law as an advocate for four years, he joined the judicial service of Baluchistan as a Civil Judge in May, 1986.  Besides working as a Civil Judge on various stations, he worked as a Section Officer (Solicitor) Law Department, Government of Baluchistan. He was appointed as an Additional District and Sessions Judge in 1991 and was promoted as District and Sessions Judge in 1997.   He worked as District and Sessions Judge in the remote tribal areas i.e Nasirabad, Dera Muraad Jamali, Sibi, Noshki, Kharan, Musakhail, Pishin, Zhob, Chaman and Quetta.   He also served as a Member Industrial Relations Commission Islamabad 1999, Judge Accountability Court No.1 Baluchistan from 2000 to 2003, Judge Anti Corruption Court 2009 and Member Baluchistan Services Tribunal from 2009 / 2010. He was elevated as Judge of the Islamabad High Court on 4th January 2011.  He gained vast experiences in all the disciplines of law i.e criminal, civil, revenue, customs and service. He was elevated as Chief Justice Islamabad High Court, Islamabad on 25.02.2013.