Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday dismissed the petition of Molvi Iqbal Haider against the wife of incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan as additional judge of Sindh High Court by declaring the petition as non-maintainable.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition challenging extension to the tenure of Justice Ashraf Jehan wife of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali as additional judge of Sindh High Court and dismissed the same by maintaining office objections over it.

The petitioner had challenged the extension to the tenure of Justice Mrs Ashraf Jehan wife of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali as additional judge Sindh High Court (SHC) saying that she remained no more an SHC judge after taking oath as a judge of Federal Shariat Court (FSC) in December 2013.

In this matter, the IHC registrar officer had raised objections that the petitioner has no ‘locus standi’ and this petition could not be filed under Article 199 of the Constitution before a high court.

The petitioner has challenged the extension and later confirmation of Justice Ashraf Jehan as additional judge of Sindh High Court (SHC) and has requested the court to declare the extension and later confirmation of Justice Ashraf as additional SHC judge as illegal.

In his petition, Molvi Iqbal has cited federation of Pakistan through principal secretary of President House, Justice Ashraf Jehan, secretary ministry of law, justice and human rights division, secretary judicial commission of Pakistan and secretary parliamentary committee senate secretariat as respondents.

He contended in the petition that the oath of a high court judge is different from the oath of a Federal Shariat Court (FSC) judge. Under Supreme Court observations in Al-Jihad Trust case, a high court judge after taking oath of an FSC judge does not remain a high court judge and therefore the extension granted to Justice Mrs Ashraf Jehan wife of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali as additional judge of Sindh high court (SHC) was illegal as she had already became an FSC judge. Moreover her transfer from SHC to FSC was also illegal.

Petitioner said that the wife of incumbent CJP, Justice Ashraf Jehan was serving as district session judge in Sindh and she was at serial number 12 on the seniority list.

 On August 30, 2013 Justice Ashraf was appointed as an additional judge of SHC superseding the three senior female district & session judges.

 He added that on December 26, 2013 Justice Ashraf was appointed as an FSC judge by the President of Pakistan without placing her case before secretary ministry of law, secretary judicial commission of Pakistan and secretary parliamentary committee that is necessary under article 175A of the Constitution.

Petitioner said that under the constitution, the oath of Supreme Court and high court judges was same but the oath of FSC judges was different under article 203(C) 7 of the constitution.

 Iqbal stated that on September 1, 2014, President of Pakistan extended one year in the tenure of Justice Ashraf as additional judge SHC. Whereas, as a matter of fact she was then remained no more an additional judge of SHC because she had become an FSC judge. After taking oath as an FSC judge on December 26, 2013, the previous oath of Justice Mrs Ashraf Jehan as additional judge SHC had gone lapsed petitioner said.

He alleged that this illegality was done under influence. Later President of Pakistan confirmed appointment of Justice Ashraf Jehan as an SHC judge on August 26, 2015. On October 28, 2015, Justice Ashraf Jehan was transferred to FSC from SHC and she was appointed FSC judge for two years.

 Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare that Justice Ashraf Jehan remained no more an additional judge of SHC after she took oath of an FSC judge.

Consequently all the other notifications granting extension to her and later confirming her as an SHC judge were illegal. Petitioner has further prayed that the court may also declare that the transfer of Justice Ashraf Jehan from SHC to FSC was also illegal.