ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its judgment over the presidential reference, invoking the court advisory jurisdiction regarding the appointment of judges in superior judiciary and a constitutional petition filed against the delay of appointment of judges in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

A five-judge bench led by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and comprising Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed heard the reference.

President Asif Ali Zardari has sought clarity on his role in the appointment of judges through the reference filed by federation’s counsel Wasim Sajjad containing 13 questions of law.

Wasim Sajjad, counsel for Federation, Attorney General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir, amici curiae former Attorney General Makdoom Ali Khan and Khwaja Haris completed their arguments on Thursday.

During the proceedings on Friday, completing his arguments, Akram Sheikh, counsel for a petitioner Advocate Nadeem Ahmed in the matter contended that Justice Anwar Kansi was eligible to sit in the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meeting, adding that the Commission had recommended to appoint Justice Kansi as the Chief Justice of the IHC.

Akram Sheikh further pleaded that determining the seniority of judges by the Ministry of Law and Justice is against the basic principle in which judiciary and executive were separated.

He contended that composition of the JCP was absolutely lawful, saying President has no power to give his suggestion over the JCP recommendations for the appointment of judges.

Sheikh alleged that Ministry of Law has issued a notification for the seniority of Justice Riaz on October 10 with the objective to hold the implementation on JCP recommendations and Parliamentary Committee approval for judges appointment.