Abiding by the Seniority Principle

30th July 2021

This article focuses on the nomination of a new judge that took lead by 5votes to a ratio of four. The judge was on the 5th number on Sindh’s high to the Supreme Court list. The decision was upheld by JCP but was highly criticized by PBC, which commanded of holding a meeting on 5th August to talk things out.

The session lasted for approximately two hours, led by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed. Towards the end of the overwrought session to fill in the vacancy the JCP reluctantly agreed to the recommendation of Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar. The move was opposed by several justices former and serving.

After this issue was finally addressed, PBC Vice-Chairman Khushdil Khan rose to call a meeting comprising of the general body to be held on the fifth of Aug. Vice-chairman of PBC stated his resentment and dissatisfaction that the JCP advanced to decide a matter disregarding the tenacities of the chief lawyers’ body and all the other imperative related authorities.


The SBC, SHCBA Karachi as well as the LHCBA resolution to observe a black day on July 28 to exhibit their outrage at the decision of elevating an inferior judge from the provincial high court. On the thirteenth of July, JCP endorsed the promotion of Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel to the SC but postponed additional deliberation of Justice Mazhars’s case as per the seniority principle. Both the nominated justices received superannuation in late 2020 and 2021.

Article 175-A states that the elevation to the Supreme Court of the Constitution is always done after evaluating the overall precursors, backgrounds, and expertise. Resolution final decisions a senior counsel uttered concern over the move as all the senior judges who had not been deliberated for a raise were not capable enough to meet the eligibility criteria.

This is not the first time that a junior judge from the high court had been elevated to the Supreme Court, a case like this was reported Earlier in April 2018, ruling in 2002 is still considered a fresh promotion and consequently, any judge even a junior from a particular high court can be elevated to become the judge of the apex court. SHC Bar Association urges to constitute more forthright benchmarks for the elevation of judges to the apex court by views of all stakeholders.

Please contact the Legal Research Institute of Pakistan for further assistance.

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