LAHORE  -  The PML-N government has no intention to support a private bill submitted in the National Assembly by an independent MNA, Jamshaid Dasti, seeking two years’ extension in the upper age limit of judges including the Chief Justice of Pakistan who is going to retire in December this year.

The parliamentarian from Muzaffargarh wants an amendment in Article 179 of the Constitution to extend the upper age limit of retirement for the judges belonging to the superior judiciary. He has submitted a draft bill in the National Assembly which may be taken up for consideration on Private Members Day in the near future.

“The PML-N government has no policy to amend the Constitution for the purpose of granting extension in service to either the judges or the senior bureaucrats,” Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid told The Nation.

The government, he said, was of the considered opinion that whatever had been written in the Constitution already regarding the upper age limit of judges of the superior judiciary was correct and should not be changed. Pervaiz also said that the government had no policy to grant extension in service to the senior bureaucrats.

Since Mr Dasti has shunned his affiliation with the PPP and is considered close to the PML-N at the moment, an impression has been created after submission of the said bill that it was a PML-N-sponsored move aiming at granting extension in service to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Jamshaid Dasti, on the other hand, thinks that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his team of judges should be given extension for upholding the Constitution.

“The present judiciary led by Justice Chaudhry has played a significant role to protect democracy, Constitution and the state institutions. It has also earned acclaim from the world for taking bold decisions. It is, therefore, necessary that present judges be allowed to continue for another two years to set the things right,” Dasti pleaded while talking to The Nation.

He intends to contact the parliamentarians from all parties to enlist their support for the bill.