ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the federal government and the Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA) to file concise statements, regarding appointment of judges as chief judge or judges of the Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit-Baltistan after the promulgation of Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, within fortnight.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and comprised Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Tareq Pervaiz heard the maintainability of a constitutional petition moved by Dr Ghulam Abbas, Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan National Movement.

Muhammad Ikram Chau-dhry, counsel for the petitioner, argued before the court that earlier a retired and controversial judge, who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), was appointed as chief justice. He said now after his retirement another non-resident was elevated as Chief Judge of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan. The counsel requested the court to declare Article 60(5, 6) and 60(8) of the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self Governance Order 2009) unconstitutional.