[The same thing happened the last Chief Justice Chaudhry took-up the cause of Pakistan's many "disappeared" in Balochistan. SEE: Pak. Supreme Court Opening “Can of Worms”–the DISAPPEARED
This, coupled with the bank squeeze that Zardari put on Jang News, represents an ugly turn of events. So far, Gen. Kayani has resisted intervening. This is only a warning shot across the Supreme Court's bow.]
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari on Saturday elevated the chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Khwaja Sharif as a judge of the Supreme Court. The decision was taken without any consultation with Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, prompting him to take a suo motu notice of the judges’ appointment.
On the other hand, senior judge Justice Saqib Nisar has been made the acting Chief Justice of the LHC in place of Justice Khwaja Sharif.
The president’s decision conflicted with the reported recommendations of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, who had recommended that Justice Saqib Nisar be made a judge of the Supreme Court.
However, the government seems to have done the opposite as a result of which Chaudhry took a suo motu notice against the decision of the president, suspending the federal government’s notification over the appointments.
The notification was issued in violation of Article 177 of the state’s constitution.
The CJ immediately constituted a three-member committee – headed by Justice Shakirullah Jan – for an emergency hearing to look into the matter.
The bench has summoned the Attorney General to appear before the court on behalf of the government and explain its viewpoint on the appointments.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Khwaja Sharif and Justice Saqib Nisar are still considering whether or not to accept the new positions. Sources told DawnNews that both of them will consider the validity of the government notification before taking oath.
According to a BBC report, Justice Saqib Nisar has officially refused to take oath. ”I will not take oath as acting Chief Justice of LHC,” Justice Saqib Nisar told BBC Urdu in an interview. “I will do what CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asks me to.”
On the other hand, Senior Advocate Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim has ruled out any clash between the judiciary and the executive. “How is it wrong to elevate the senior most person as the judge of the Supreme Court? Why are we unnecessarily creating a controversy?” questioned Ebrahim.
The president’s decision comes after the SC constituted a five-member bench to hear the case of delays in the judges’ appointments earlier today.