ISLAMABAD - TERENCE J SIGAMONY - As the Supreme Court is taking up a contempt petition against the top government functionaries tomorrow (Monday), the federal government on Saturday requested the apex court to suspend its order for issuance of notification of appointment of two IHC judges, till the disposal of the case.

Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir has submitted the miscellaneous application against December 21, 2012 judgment regarding appointment of two judges of in Islamabad High Court (IHC). The federal government has contended that constitution doesn’t assign the judges of the superior courts with the role of appointment or removal of their brother judges and the president is the sole appointing authority of the judges.

“A judge cannot sit over the legality, propriety or impropriety of appointment or removal of his fellow judges. Surely all judges are equal and are the appointees of the president. Such role to the exclusion of everyone has been solely assigned to the president who eventually is to decide such issues after considering the input provided by the Parliamentary Committee, the Judicial Commission or the Supreme Judicial Council as the case may be,” the application contended. In the review petition it is prayed that December 21 short order should be reviewed and the petition, filed by Nadeem Ahmed advocate, be dismissed. The government has also said the SC should have decided the Presidential Reference prior to the passing of the December 21 order, as the arguments in the Reference had already been concluded.

The haste with which Mr Nadeem’s petition has been decided by means of a perfunctory order in itself is sufficient to establish that in this case not only there have been gross violations of law but even justice was not seen to be done as per the constitutional and legal requirement of fair trial, the review petition says.

A four member bench of the apex court, headed by Khilji Arif Hussain, will take up the contempt petition filed by Nadim Ahmad through his counsel Akram Sheikh under article 204 of the constitution read with sections 3 and 4 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 and Order xxvii of the supreme court rules 1980 “for wilful and continuous disobedience” December 21 order.