SC cancels illegal appointments in Islamabad HC


The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declared the appointments made in Islamabad High Court (IHC) since 2011 as null and void, with the ruling that these appointments were made without following the codal formalities of the competitive process, according to a report in the local media.

The court held that such practice might lead to distrust of the public in the judicial institution of the country. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ameer Hani Muslim and comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan announced a judgment reserved in May 2016 on the petition filed by Chaudhry Muhammad Akram against 74 appointments in the IHC, made in phases from 2011 to the end of 2012.

He had challenged various appointments, absorptions and transfers in the IHC, claimed to have been made in violation of the Services Rules of the IHC. He had listed the IHC Registrar, Deputy Registrar Idrees Khan Kasi and 73 other officials as respondents.

The 51-page judgment, authored by Justice Ameer Hani Muslim, held that the appointments which had been made in the establishment of the IHC since 2011 without following the codal formalities of the competitive process were a nullity.

“Such appointments cannot be sanctified by the Chief Justice or the Administration Committee by dispensing with the mandatory requirements including competitive process,” the court ruled.

The court directed that this exercise within a period of one month from the date of communication of this judgment and submit a detailed report to it.

Similarly, the court directed that initial appointments made to a permanent post without following the required procedure as provided in the rules, particularly the provisions related to the advertisement of posts, eligibility and competitive examination, were also to be de-notified.

The court observed that it goes without saying, that if appointments in the IHC are made in colourful exercise of power or by bypassing the transparent process of recruitment provided under the Rules, it will have far-reaching undulate effects on the public at large.

The court noticed that numerous infirmities were made in the appointments made by the Chief Justice/Administration Committee, and these infirmities are incurable by the Chief Justice under the powers conferred on him under Rule 26 of the Lahore High Court Rules and Rule 16 of the IHC.

It was further revealed that the procedure of advertising the posts in newspapers for making appointments through open competition after conducting test/interview has totally been ignored in all the appointments made during the audit period. Appointments without open competition have been held illegal by the superior courts.