Constitutional crises brew as Presidential Notification termed “unlawful, of no legal effect”:

KARACHI: Chief Justice of High Court of Sindh Ahmed Ali M Shaikh has conveyed to the President of Pakistan that he will not attend the “sitting of Supreme Court” today i.e Aug 17 to take oath as adhoc judge of the apex court.

In a letter addressed to the President of Pakistan, CJ of SHC said that government is bound to take consent of the Chief Justice of a High Court for elevation.

The CJ SHc referred to three consecutive letters written by him dated 5,6 and 10 th August, 2021in which he refused such consent.

The CJ SHC referred to notification No F.2 (1)/2021–A-II dated 16-8-2021 which said that “in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 182 0f the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is pleased to accord approval to the appointment of Mr Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh as an adhoc Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan requiring him to attend  the sittings of Supreme Court for a period of one year with effect from the date he makes oath of his office”.

The refusal was due to elevation of junior Judge Mr Muhammad Ali Mazhar as confirm judge while his senior and incumbent was elevated after him and yet as “adhoc judge” rendering him most junior judge if he had taken oath.

The refusal was a principled stand but creates constitutional issues as Presidential order was rightly dubbed as “unlawful and of no legal affect”.

The lawyer bodies have also observed a boycott of court proceedings throughout Sindh today (Tuesday) to protest against adhoc appointment vociferously opposed by all bar associations including Supreme Court Bar Association. The opposition to such appointment may turn into another lawyer movement as one more appointment of a women judge would give rise to more bitter opposition and division between bar and the bench.