ISLAMABAD - The PPP-led government’s decision to file Presidential Reference in Supreme Court on Islamabad High Court judges issue is of little legal value, as Article 175-A has explicitly defined the role of President in whole exercise.

Legal and Constitutional experts saw it a straight case, especially after the passage of 19th Amendment the powers of President are delegated to the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointment and the role of President of Pakistan would be of mere ‘ceremonial.’

However, the deferment in regularisation of services of Additional Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and six months extension in the services of Justice Noorul Haq for another six months as Additional Judge, have political and other consequences, some senior PPP leaders informed The Nation on condition of keeping their names secret.

Sources in PPP informed that govt has invoked Article 186 of the Constitution seeking advice from the Supreme Court on a law point that whether the composition of the Judicial Commission was valid when in the absence of the senior most judge of the Islamabad High Court Justice Riaz Ahmad, who was on ex-Pakistan leave, the senior most judge from the available strength Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi was made the member of the Judicial Commission.

It is interesting to note, that the Judicial Commission’s recommendations were not objected to by the Parliamentary Commission on Judges Appointment, but President Asif Ali Zardari held the notification when the recommendations reached him via Prime Minister and decided to file reference in the Supreme Court seeking clarification on a law point.

Sources in the PPP informed that these two Additional Judges of the Islamabad High Court were to take up the case of Chief of Army Staff’s extension challenged by a retired Colonel a day after the expiry of their term in office and by deferring the notification President Asif Ali Zardari had provided breathing space to the COAS.

However, some senior leaders of the ruling alliance termed it a mere coincidence and saw no linkage between the deferment of the extension in service of these two Additional Judges of IHC with the case of Chief of Army Staff, which was fixed for hearing before the two-member bench comprising the same judges a day after the culmination of their one-year service tenure on Oct 20th.

Sources aware of the development taking place on this front informed TheNation that people in the Armed Forces were quite perturbed over the situation and hectic consultations took place between the political and military elite after which coming of such a decision from the office of President raised many an eyebrows.

Sources further said that govt has that they were not expecting much out of the Presidential Reference, except clarification on a law point that in the absence of the senior most judge of any High Court whether the next senior most judge could be the part of Judicial Commission or not.

The only thing Government would get is to buy time for a month or so to facilitate the Armed Forces to deal with the petition challenging the extension in service granted to Chief of Army Staff by the government.