SC sides against CJ Islamabad High Court in illegal appointments case

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Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Anwar Kasi has been embroiled in a case of illegal appointments and with the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruling against those appointments, the legal fraternity in the capital city of Islamabad is up in arms in demanding his resignation.

The lawyers in the capital city initiated protests, filed a reference under Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan and demanded resignation of CJ Anwar Kasi. The Supreme Court of Pakistan later ruled against various appointments made in Islamabad High Court (IHC) by sitting Chief Justice IHC Muhammad Anwar Kasi back in September.

It all started when Supreme Court hearing a plea filed by Advocate Chaudhary Akram back in 2013 declared all 74 recruitments made during the tenure of former Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman and Justice Kasi null and void. Justice Iqbal, in the immediate aftermath of the case, resigned from his post as Justice Supreme Court.

In October 2016, the Islamabad High Court Bar Association filed a reference against Chief Justice Anwar Kasi under Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The lawyer community demanded his resignation as was allegedly found involved in those illegal postings and appointments.

For now, the Supreme Judicial Council is on winter break. Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zahir Jamali is retiring on 31st December and Justice Saqib Nisar will take oath as the next CJ. The fate of CJ Kasi and reference against him will be decided in 2017. Since the whole matter is sub judice, no lawyer or official was available for the on-the-record comment.

The Supreme Judicial Council was created back in 1973 in order to ensure ‘independence of judiciary’ and safeguard sanctity of judges from being interrogated by various investigation agencies.

Secretary IHCBA, Advocate Waqas Malik, when contacted said that he and other advocates will pursue the cause till it is concluded. “Independence of judiciary can only be ensured when upright and honest judges are appointed and elevated to all tiers of judiciary. With the Supreme Court’s decision on declaring these appointments illegal and null and void, CJ IHC Anwar Kasi has become controversial and should step down,” he said while talking to Pakistan Today.