ISLAMABAD - Senior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani would replace the incumbent Chief Justice, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry upon his retirement on December 12.

Government sources told The Nation on Wednesday that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has given his nod about appointment of Justice Jillani as new Chief Justice.

The Law and Justice Division has started the process and a notification in this connection is expected within few days.

Currently, Justice Jillani is also working as acting Chief Election Commissioner.

Sources further said that the Prime Minister also consulted his close aides about appointment of a full-time Chief Election Commissioner and would later also consult the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah. A number of names have been shortlisted as potential nominees for the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner.

Agencies add: President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday approved the appointment of Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as the next chief Justice of Pakistan after receiving recommendation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, sources said.

An official notification will be issued in this regard any time soon, in a day or so, sources added.

Asma Jahangir, a human rights activist, lawyer and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, said she expected the 64-year-old Jillani to be a far quieter presence.

But retired justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui said he expected a measure of continuity.

“I don’t think there would be much of any change after retirement of the present chief justice because his team will be the same,” he said.

“A whole team of judges is working with chief justice and they won’t go with Iftikhar Chaudhry.”

Jillani has been a Supreme Court judge since 2004 and like Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was sacked when Musharraf imposed emergency rule in November 2007.

Faced with growing protests led by lawyers furious at the treatment of the judges, Musharraf stepped down as army chief later the same month and lost a general election in February 2008.