OUR STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD - Three more judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who had refused to take oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), are retiring this year after obtaining the age of superannuation. Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui will retire on Oct 13 and Justice Muhammad Sair Ali on Dec 11. They both belong to Punjab. Ad hoc judge Justice Ghulam Rabbani, from Sindh, who is on a two-year extension, will be retiring on Oct 20. Justice Raja Fayyaz (Balochistan) and Justice Javed Iqbal (Balochistan) had already retired in May and July this year as permanent judges, while Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday retired in February after completing one-year tenure as an ad-hoc judge of the Supreme Court. Out of the total strength of 17 judges, presently the Supreme Court is comprised of 15 judges including the chief justice - six from Punjab, five from Sindh, three from Khyber Pakhtu-nkhwa and one from Balochistan - are serving in the Sup-reme Court. The post of one judge has been vacant since the resignation of Justice Syed Zahid Hussain. The apex court comprises Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry (Balochistan), Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani (Punjab), Justice Nasirul Mulk (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Justice Sair Ali (Punjab), Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui (Punjab), Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja (Punjab), Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali (Sindh), Justice Khilji Arif Hussain (Sindh), Justice Tariq Parvez Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Justice Mian Saqib Nisar (Punjab), Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa (Punjab), Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany (Sindh), Justice Amir Hani Muslim (Sindh) and Ad hoc judge Ghulam Rabbani (Sindh). In 2008 the PPP government had increased the strength of the Supreme Court to 29 judges from 17 through a finance bill to calm down the lawyers campaign over deposed judges. The Supreme Court on July 31, 2009, declared the emergency illegal and also ordered reversion of the strength of judges to 17, holding that the number was determined though the Judges Act of 1997 and not the finance bill. With a backlog of over 20,000 cases and the retirement their colleagues, the remaining judges will be stretched because the mechanism for the appointment of superior court judges has changed after the 18th and 19th Amendments. Under Article 175-A, the judges are appointed after a thorough consideration by two independent constitutional bodies - the Judicial Commission headed by the chief justice Iftikhar and approved by an eight-member bipartisan Parliamentary Committee.