Parliamentary committee to endorse Justice Ejaz as LHC CJ today


ISLAMABAD: In its maiden meeting scheduled today (Monday), the parliamentary committee on judges’ appointment will consider Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s nomination for the new chief justice of the Lahore High Court after framing rules of business of the committee.
On November 13, the JCP unanimously nominated Justice Ejaz Chaudhry as the new LHC CJ after incumbent Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif’s retirement on December 8, 2010. The eight-member committee consists of four members from the PPP and two each from the PML-N and the PML-Q.
Aftab Shahban Mirani and Asma Arbab Alamgir are PPP’s members from the National Assembly, while Nayyar Bukhari and Sabir Baloch will represent the PPP from the Senate. The PML-Q and PML-N have two members each in the committee – Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Ishaq Dar from the Senate and Ghous Bux Mahar and Mehtab Abbasi from the National Assembly.
In its first meeting, the committee will frame its rules of business with a major decision as to whether a person would be made its chairperson for two years or on a rotation basis. Article 175A, under which the committee has been constituted, is silent on the chairmanship of the committee, but one of its members told Pakistan Today that the issue would be settled by framing rules of business of the committee.
A source in the PPP claimed that the party intended to have the committee’s chairmanship for either Nayyar Hussain Bokhari or Aftab Mirani. On the other hand, PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain is also a strong contender for the slot. Another source in government said the PPP might support Shujaat if the PML-Q assured the government of its support on reformed GST bill in parliament.
PML-N leaders say their party members in the committee would suggest the chairmanship on a rotation basis from six months to one year. PML-Q’s Ghous Bux Mahar said the matter of the committee’s chairmanship would be taken up once the rules of business were formulated. Meanwhile, disgruntled allies of the PPP – the ANP, JUI-F and MQM – are also holding separate meetings to protest the PPP for not taking them on board while taking important decisions. None of them is represented in the parliamentary committee.