* Members say SC should decide ‘transparently’ on petitions against 18th Amendment
Daily Times report: A democratic and transparent process for appointing judges to the superior judiciary is essential for an independent judiciary, renowned civil society members and representatives of non-government organisations (NGO) said on Sunday.
The NGO representatives were addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club, which was addressed by Syeda Neelam Hussain Shah of Simorgh Women’s Resource and Publication Centre, South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAPP) Executive Director Muhammad Tehseen and Labour Party Pakistan spokesman Farooq Tariq. They urged the Supreme Court (SC) to decide on all petitions, which had been filed against the 18th Amendment, in a transparent manner. “We consider the inclusion of Article 175A of the constitution an attempt by parliament to put in place a process that is transparent and aimed at generating a broad-based agreement between various stakeholders with respect to the appointment of judges to the superior judiciary. In fact, the role of the parliamentary committee is subsidiary to that of the judicial commission, as the parliamentary committee may only disapprove a name forwarded by the judicial commission with a majority of six out of eight from across the various political divisions in parliament,” the participants said.
They added that the parliamentary committee might not suggest any names on its own, ensuring that no person might be appointed to the superior judiciary of the country without enjoying the support of the judicial commission. The NGO representatives were of the view that only those persons would be elevated as judges whose professional competence and character had passed the scrutiny test by the judicial commission and were not unacceptable to an overwhelming majority of the members of the parliamentary committee.
They also condemned the letter written by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) stating that the reinstatement of the CJP and other judges of the superior courts through an executive order of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was unconstitutional and illegal.