LAHORE: Justice Ayesha A Malik has become the first female Supreme Court justice in the country’s 75-year history, as a notification was issued by the Justice Ministry following President Arif Alvi’s endorsement on Friday.
Judge Ayesha Malik will take office shortly after being sworn in.
The judge received a farewell from the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Muhammad Ameer Bhatti.
Earlier this month, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), in its meeting chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, by majority vote, recommended the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik as as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Following the JCP’s recommendation, the issue of his appointment was submitted to the Parliamentary Judicial Appointments Committee for final approval. The committee unanimously approved his elevation.
Judge Ayesha Malik’s name has been placed before the commission for the second time after her name was suggested by CJP Gulzar in August last year.
Earlier in September 2021, JCP suspended his nomination because the vote at the meeting ended in a “tie”.
Judge Ayesha had received four votes in favor of her nomination while four were against her.
Judge Qazi Faez Isa did not attend the JCP meeting on both occasions.
Justice Ayesha will work for 10 years as a Supreme Court Justice and will retire on June 2, 2031 (age 65 in the case of an SC Justice).
This means Justice Ayesha will be on track to become the country’s first female Chief Justice following the retirement of Justice Yahya in January 2030.
An official farewell ceremony was held in honor of Justice Ayesha A. Malik at the Lahore High Court. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and the judges sent her a bouquet.
The farewell ceremony was attended by the most senior judge, Judge Malik Shehzad Ahmed. Judge Shujaat Ali Khan, Judge Shahid Waheed, Judge Ali Baqir Najafi and other judges were also present.
Justice Ayesha was born on June 3, 1996 and studied in Pakistan and abroad, including at Harvard Law School in the United States. She was an associate of the former chief election commissioner and eminent jurist, Justice Fakhruddin Ibrahim, and worked with him as an assistant for about four years, from 1997 to 2001.
A faction of lawyers’ organizations across the country, including the Pakistan Bar Council, opposed his elevation, calling the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik as Supreme Court Justice a “violation of the principle of ‘seniority”.
They say their protest is not limited to the case of Judge Ayesha Malik, but will continue until authorities end the “pick and choose” policy and establish a seniority of the Judiciary Commission. But it does not appoint Supreme Court justices.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Ahsan Bhoon says bar associations are not against Justice Ayesha Malik and representative bodies want senior justice appointed to court supreme, taking into account the principle of seniority.
However, the association of women lawyers has taken the position that Supreme Court decisions are present on the subject which have clarified that the principle of seniority is not absolute when appointing a High Court judge. to the Supreme Court.