Govt told to appoint new law minister for JC moot


ISLAMABAD – Following Dr Babar Awan’s resignation as federal law minister, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked the government on Thursday to fill the vacant ministerial slot to ensure that the Law Ministry was represented at the Judicial Commission (JC)’s meeting on Saturday. The CJP, who is also chairman of the JC, ordered that Awan’s resignation be brought to the notice of principal secretaries of the president and prime minister, as well as the cabinet secretary and law secretary for information and necessary further action, as meeting of the JC would proceed on April 16 as scheduled.
In pursuance of the CJP’s orders, the JC secretary has written a letter to the officials concerned, pointing out that the meeting of the JC was scheduled on April 16 for consideration of the confirmation and appointment of additional judges of the Lahore High Court and Balochistan High Court. Under Article 175A (2) of the constitution, the federal law minister is a member of the JC.
Who will be the new law minister is now the question being raised. Though Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Raza Rabbani, Leader of the House in the Senate Nayyar Bokhari and National Assembly Members Naseem Akhter and Justice (r) Fakhar-un-Nisa could all be considered for the post vacated by Awan, it depends on whether the president and the prime minister make a new appointment so the government can be represented at the JC meeting.
It is also likely that, in case it is mandatory that the government be represented by the law minister, Raza Rabbani may be given additional charge of the law ministry in case he is not appointed full-time law minister.