The decision to elevate him as ad hoc SC judge withheld
The judiciary has moved to smooth out ruffles over appointments of judges, and it has been decided that Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh would stay as Sindh High Court Chief Justice, Samaa TV reported on Saturday.
Justice Shaikh would not be sent on retirement under article 206 of the constitution for his refusal to take oath as ad hoc Supreme Court judge, some members of legal fraternity have told Samaa’t Irfan ul Haq.
Instead, he would be allowed to be promoted as permanent Supreme Court judge if a position falls vacant at the apex court, they said.
Justice Shaikh was asked to take oath as ad hoc Supreme Court judge and a ceremony had been scheduled for August 17, but he refused to become ad hoc judge.
Consequently, the ceremony was postponed. The decision on Justice Shaikh had infuriated lawyers’ bodies which responded with protests and strikes.
The appointment of Justice’s Shaikh to the Supreme Court has been “withheld” as the new situation emerged, sources told Samaa TV.
Sources say Attorney General Pakistan led behind-the-scene efforts to find a middle ground with the help of senior members of the judiciary and the federal government officials.
What could have been a judicial crisis began when the Supreme Judicial Council with a majority 5–4 decision elevated Justice Mohamad Ali Mazhar as a permanent judge of the Supreme Court on June 28.
The lawyer’s bodies opposed the decision saying Justice Mazhar was the fifth on the seniority list in the Sindh High Court.
The situation compounded when Justice Shaikh was asked to become an ad hoc SC judge. This effectively meant him leaving the position of SHC Chief Justice. The next senior-most judge was to serve as the Acting Chief Justice of Sindh High Court.
However, Justice Shaikh refused to attend Supreme Court sittings as ad hoc judge by writing to the chief justice Pakistan, Irfan ul Haq says in an earlier explainer. Justice Shaikh, however, had no objection if he was elevated as a permanent judge.
There were reports that a move had been planned to send Justice Shaikh on retirement under article 206 of the constitution.
Justice Mazhar took oath as the Supreme Court judge on August 16.