ISLAMABAD  – The Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) has said that the recruitment committee is not competent to conduct interview of the candidates for the posts judicial officers.

IHCBA General Secretary Chaudhry Junaid Akhtar Chohan told the agency on Sunday that the lapse in the recruitment process showed the incompetence of the body. A large number of applicants have approached the IHCBA and the Registrar of Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the criteria adopted by the committee for shortlisting the candidates, he added.

Shahzadi Salma Chugtai, an applicant who had filed a writ petition at the IHC against the selection process, said a neutral panel should carry out the selection process.

Chughtai, who hails from Bahawalpur, was residing in a hotel and suffered for the wrong procedure adopted by the recruitment committee.

Another applicant Muhammad Waqas Malik, who had also challenged the shortlisting criteria at the IHC, said the judicial officers posts should be filled through National Testing Service (NTS). Otherwise, there will be no fair recruitments, he added.

He said that a large number of candidates belonged to far-flung areas of FATA, KPK, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and the postponement of interviews because of the wrong policy of the recruitment committee had left them in trouble.

Saeed Khursid Ahmed, a lawyer, also filed an intra court appeal at the IHC regarding the same matter on May 17.

He prayed to court,”The process of adhoc appointments of 29 judicial officers (20 civil judges and 9 additional district & sessions judges) may be stopped in the interest of justice and the selection of entire district judiciary Islamabad may be made either through FPSC or through proper examination process provided in the Islamabad Judicial Service Rules, 2011”.

Musharaf Ali, who came from Sindh for interview, said he was expecting that merit would be observed, but the recruitment process showed another story.

Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, who also belonged to Sindh, said that during interview, the members of the recruitment committee asked irrelevant questions from him.

How can they judge my knowledge about law without asking relevant questions, he asked

They also complained that they submitted a demand draft of 1000 rupees each alongwith the application, but they were not provided any facilities such proper sitting arrangements or cold water etc.

They said approximately 1500 lawyers applied for these jobs, spent a huge amount of money and wasted a lot time for appearing in the interviews but all went in vain.

They urged the government to hire the service of a third party to hold the selection process for these vacancies like FPSC, NTS or proper examination process provided in the Islamabad Judicial Service Rules, 2011.