17 months on, Qaim yet to sign summary


The Sindh government has not approved the appointment of 24 lower court judges despite the passage of 17 months since their selection.
The Sindh Law Department had forwarded a summary on the issue to the provincial chief minister for his formal approval, but the latter has not approved the summary yet.
In October 2010, 24 posts of judicial magistrates and civil judges were announced, for which more than 2,000 candidates applied and appeared before the selection committee, including Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Mushir Alam and senior judges Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Athar Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Gulzar.
The committee conducted written and oral tests of the candidates and declared 24 among them as successful.
A letter was written to the Sindh chief minister through the Sindh Law Department to issue a formal approval so that the SHC could issue the notification for the appointment of 24 judges.
However, despite the passage of 17 months and at least three reminders sent by the SHC, the provincial chief executive has not approved the recommendations of the upper court selection committee, which is authorised for such appointments.
After the direction of SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam, Sindh Law Secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah had forwarded the summary on the subject to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah but no reply has been received so far.
Reliable sources in the law department told Pakistan Today that the provincial government is of the view that appointments should be made through the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC).
“In this way, the PPP leadership can easily accommodate its favourite candidates in the province’s lower judiciary, where already a lot of party activists and close relatives of party high-ups have been appointed,” they added.
The Sindh government had also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to grant it the right to appoint in the lower judiciary judges through the SPSC; however, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry declared the act unlawful and illegal.
It is worth noting that due to lack of judges in the lower judiciary, more than 100,000 cases are pending in the province.