Lawyers boycott courts over ad hoc judges controversy – Newspaper

KARACHI: Lawyers boycotted court proceedings in metropolitan higher and subordinate courts as well as Hyderabad on Tuesday to protest the proposed appointment of Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh as as ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.

Lawyer leaders closed the entrances to the Sindh High Court, municipal courts and Malir district courts to dissuade their colleagues from appearing in court to plead their cases set for the day.

They also prohibited a large number of litigants from entering court premises, forcing them to return without attending the hearings of their cases.

Only court staff were allowed access to the courtrooms.

At the CHS, placard-holding lawyers chanted slogans against disregarding the seniority principle when elevating High Court justices to the Supreme Court and proposed the ad hoc appointment of CJ Shaikh.

The absence of litigants and their lawyers forces the magistrates to discharge their commissions and to postpone the cases fixed before them.

In the subordinate magistracy, the defendants had to be brought back to the barracks without being brought before the courts.

Members of Sindh High Court Bar Association, Karachi Bar Association and Malir District Bar Association met at the offices of bar associations to discuss the issue of the elevation of a junior judge from the High Court to the supreme court.

Speaking to the media, SHCBA President Salahuddin Ahmed reiterated the bar associations’ assertion that the principle of seniority should be respected in the elevation and appointment of judges to the SC in the letter and spirit.

He said that at present there did not appear to be a fixed criterion for the elevation of judges to the highest court in the country, adding that the same should evolve and that all stakeholders, especially Bar associations across the country, as well as key judicial officers from the provincial and federal governments should also be considered in this regard.

Attorney Ahmed said that the procedure currently adopted by the Pakistan Judicial Commission for the elevation of high court judges to the SC would create mistrust among the upper judicial judges in each other, in addition to tarnishing the image of the judicial institution in the public and having a negative impact on its functioning.

Posted in Dawn, le 11 August 2021

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