Lawyers boycott courts as SHC CJ skips oath-taking
KARACHI: Lawyers in Sindh held a strike on Tuesday against what they called ‘illegal notification’ issued by President Arif Alvi for the appointment of Sindh Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh to Supreme Court as an ad hoc judge.
Justice Sheikh did not go to Islamabad to take an oath as an ad hoc judge of the apex court. He came to Sindh High Court in the morning and sat in his chamber.
Officer bearers of Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) blocked litigants and lawyers entry to the courtrooms by shutting down the main entrance. Similarly, Karachi Bar Association’s (KBA) office-bearers blocked the entry of litigants and lawyers by locking the courtrooms.
All the cases fixed for hearing in SHC and district courts were put off for other dates.
Talking to media SHCBA President Salahuddin Ahmed said the notification issued by the president has no legal effect and Justice Sheikh still holds office of the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court. He said the relevant provisions of the country’s Constitution expressively speak about the consent of the chief justices of high courts for the appointment of any judge of a high court to the Supreme Court.
Justice Sheikh has thrice refused to be appointed as an ad hoc judge of the apex court, therefore notification of his appointment is illegal as the same has been issued without his consent.
On Monday Justice Sheikh had declined to take oath as an ad hoc judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan, following the issuance of notification by the president for his appointment.
In two separate letters addressed to the president and Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh had said that the notification (of his appointment) had been issued without lawful authority. In the letter written to the President Justice Sheikh had said, “Please not that it is a sine quo non for issuing such a notification that the consent of the Chief Justice of concerned High Court be obtained.”
In the letter to the CJP, he had said that the notification was issued in spite of the fact that he consistently and repeatedly declined to give his consent to attend the sittings of honourable Supreme Court as an ad hoc judge.
A week earlier Judicial Commission of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan with a majority decision had approved Justice Sheikh’s appointment to the apex court as an ad hoc judge for a period of one year.
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