ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday expressed dismay over shortage of judges in the Sindh High Court, where only 12 judges are working against a sanctioned strength of 40.
“Not only are the cases piling up by the day but the state of affairs is also distressing for litigants as they have to wait endlessly to see disposal of their cases,” said a resolution passed by the executive committee of the 22-member PBC.
The committee noted that almost every high court is working below capacity, badly affecting dispensation of justice and causing hardship to litigants.
Presided over by its chairman Asrar-ul-Haq Mian, the executive committee meeting adopted two resolutions which expressed concern over the state of affairs in the SHC as well as the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Recalling a resolution adopted at a convention of office-bearers of district bar associations and the Sindh Bar Council on Oct 8, the committee said it was unfortunate that lawyers from the interior of Sindh were being ignored in appointments as SHC judges for the past few years.
The PBC committee requested the authorities to fill judges’ vacancies in the Sindh High Court on a priority basis.
The PBC committee expressed confidence that the chief justice of SHC as well as the Judicial Commission (JC) would take into consideration the sentiment and aspirations of the legal fraternity and ensure appointment of competent, honest and professional lawyers as judges of the provincial high court. Lawyers from the interior of Sindh should not be ignored in making the appointments, the resolution added.
It was decided that copies of the resolution would be sent to the chairman of the JC, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and its members as well as the SHC chief justice.
Through another resolution, the committee expressed concern over a list of 20 lawyers for appointment as judges of the LHC.
Memebrs of the committee said most of the names in the list appeared to be those of non-practising lawyers.
If such recommendations materialised, the committee observed, it would amount to violation of the law as laid down in the 1996 Al Jehad Trust case.
The committee proposed that representatives of the bar councils in the JC should be consulted by the chief justice of the high court concerned during in the process of preparation and initiation of lists of recommended people for appointment before
forwarding it to the JC.