ISLAMABAD - A petition challenging the appointment of Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb as judge of the Islamabad High Court was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Petitioner Advocate Ali Azeem Afridi stated that the reason for approaching the top court is that Justice Athar Minallah has already filled the seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other person (Justice Aurangzeb) from the same province cannot be appointed from the same province at IHC impinging on the rights of others i.e. FATA.

He added that certain appointments were made at the Islamabad High Court Islamabad, including the appointment of Justice Aurangzeb, against the vacancy reserved for a qualified person hailing from Fata in disregard of the law governing the subject at hand.

He further stated that the appointment was not in violation of Article 1 of the Constitution but also in violation of Section 3 of IHC Act 2010. 

The petitioner requested the top court to declare the appointment of Justice Aurangzeb as judge of IHC against the constitution and law.

It also prayed the court that case of those involved in such appointment be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council.

Advocate Ali Azeem Afridi filing the petition under Article 184 (3) made IHC Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb, Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), Parliamentary Committee, President, Prime Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council (KPKBC), Ministry of Law and Justice and Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) as respondents. 

“Allowance of cherry-picking on the part of respondent No. 2 (JCP) would ultimately lead to distrust of the public in the judicial institutions of the country,” the petition stated, adding the commission’s proceedings are subject to judicial review.

The petition stated that the appointment of Justice Aurangzeb as judge of the IHC is uncalled for and impinges upon the notion of independence of judiciary.

It further added that no person could be treated dissimilarly let alone the people of FATA aiming at securing high positions at the national level for the betterment of the people of Pakistan. “The JCP has purportedly overlooked the law governing the subject matter which itself speaks volumes of malice and mala fide on their part, depriving qualified persons hailing from FATA at the cost of belittling the cause of a Federal Republic, hence requires interference of the court,” it added.

The petition further alleged that the JCP time and again flouted the law just to benefit Justice Aurangzeb. “The issue at hand is of public importance as it involves questions with regard to adequate representation of the people hailing from FATA; taken for granted by respondent No. 2 (JCP) by introducing respondent No. 1 (Justice Aurangzeb) at IHC in violation of the constitution and law having wide-spread repercussions as to the involvement of dignitaries upsetting the constitutional ethos of the state of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” it added.

It said that section 3 of IHC Act 2010 states that this court shall consist of a chief justice and six other judges to be appointed from the provinces and other territories of the country, including FATA.

The yardstick for introducing a nominee at IHC requires a person to be qualified under Article 193 besides thereto, must be from a province, including therein other territories of Pakistan, it added.

The petitioner stated that Justice Aurangzeb though unqualified at the relevant time yet considered on several occasions by JCP on the seat of KP as a most favourable candidate ignoring the fact that he is yet to reach the prescribed age provided for the position of a judge of the High Court. It added that the JCP is duty-bound to give effect to Article 193 of the Constitution, treating the district judges at par with that of advocates duly considered as nominees for becoming judges of the superior courts.