177. Appointment of Supreme Court Judges.
(1) The Chief Justice of Pakistan shall be appointed by the President, and each of the other Judges shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice.
The interpretation section of the Constitution (apparently necessary because the document is so #$*ing unclear) helps out:
[“consultation” shall, save in respect of appointments of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, mean discussion and deliberation which shall not be binding on the President.]
OK. OK. Then why don’t you just say that the Chief Justice will unilaterally appoint his own colleagues on the Supreme Court. Why beat around the bush and add to the confusion with the whole “appointed by President”, then?
Not sure what the good people on the Constitutional Reform committee are doing when Raza Rabbani has spare time from his forceful condemnations of TSA protocols and Blackwater, but one of the things to look at might be some clarity as to who is responsible for appointing Supreme Court judges although that will probably be impossible to achieve any consensus on, especially given Chaudhry Nisar’s recent drooling seizure in the National Assembly on this issue. And while it’s sweet to see all the judges on the Supreme Court and Lahore High Court acting like some kind of middle school best friends forever club with Justices Saqib Nasir and Khwaja Sharif both swearing that they won’t do anything without the permission of Queen Bee Chaudhry perhaps it’s not such a great idea to concentrate that kind of power over judicial appointments in the hands of the Chief Justice?
There’s something really disgusting about watching the Chief Justice trying his best to line up his judicial appointments just so in order to maximize his own influence and that of his most trusted allies on the SC and LHC. Zardari is going to be criticized for creating another crisis but in a way I’m glad that the government has made an issue of the attempt to appoint Khalil Ramday as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court and the CJ’s disregard for precedent in recommending the elevation of Saqib Nasir over Khwaja Sharif. My guess is that Zardari is going to back down but that long-term this is going to badly affect the credibility of the Chief Justice with experts like Fakhruddin Ibrahim and Ali Ahmed Kurd criticizing Iftikhar Chaudhry’s decision.
One of the most fascinating of analyses of the present situation is the opinion offered by Retired Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui that as a result of their defying the CJ’s recommendaiton contempt proceedings could and would be initiated against the President and PM resulting in their disqualification. Now this is a man who led a revolt within the Supreme Court against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah on the request of PML-N on the grounds that Sajjad Ali Shah’s appointment had violated precedents of seniority. Ha. HA.