Ex-Islamabad High Court judge challenges non-confirmation

PESHAWAR, Dec 26: Former additional judge of Islamabad High Court Azim Khan Afridi on Wednesday challenged in the Peshawar High Court the recommendation of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan about his non-confirmation/non-extension.

Mr Afridi filed a writ petition requesting the court to declare the Oct 22 meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) and its proceedings ‘illegal, without lawful authority, malicious and of no legal effect.’

In the petition filed through lawyer Mian Mohibullah Kakakhel, the petitioner prayed the court to direct the president to perform his functions in accordance with the Constitution and not to accept any recommendation of the JCP contrary to his constitutional functions and without verification of credentials of the recommended judges.

He also sought interim relief from the court requesting that until the decision on the petition, the respondents, including the president, the secretary of JCP and the government of Pakistan through the law and justice department be restrained from passing or issuing any adverse orders or notification against the interest of the petitioner.

The petitioner was serving as the district and sessions judge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when he was elevated to IHC on the recommendation of the JCP in Nov 2011 for a one year period, which ended on Nov 20, 2012. Now, he is to report to PHC.

The petitioner claimed that it had come to his notice that he was punished by the Judicial Commission chairman in connivance with certain members of Judicial Commission due to a judgment in two constitutional petitions of Advocate Naeem Ali and Malik Abdul Sattar, which were heard and dismissed by a division bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad (who was not recommended as Chief Justice in-spite of seniority) and the petitioner. Through that judgment, a convict, Mohammad Basharat, a guard of Malik Riaz of Bahria Town, was acquitted on the basis of the presidential orders remitting the sentence.

He said while working as a judge, the chief justice of Islamabad High Court had begun assigning him the administrative duties immediately after his elevation. He added that he was appointed by the chief justice as ‘inspection judge’ for the district judiciary, Islamabad (East and West) and ‘In charge Judge” of the Islamabad High Court’s judicial branch.

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