AJK legal fraternity for early end of judicial crises in the State;

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Altaf Hamid Rao.

Calls for much-awaited completion of AJKHC bench through induction of due numbers of judges against vacant positions,

MIRPUR (AJK),   (Parliament Times) : The legal fraternity of entire Azad Jammu Kashmir Friday has called upon the authorities including the government of Azad Jammu Kashmir – to immediately move for ending the much-prolonged judicial crises in Azad Jammu Kashmir following lack of due number of judges in the superior judiciary especially the High Court of the State.

The AJK lawyers, in their day long lawyers-conferences hosted here by Azad Jammu Kashmir High Court Bar Association, announced to launch the AJK-wide weekly protest program, initially for a month, if the authorities failed to fill the due vacant eight positions of judges to the High Court of Azad Jammu Kashmir – currently comprising the only Chief Justice of the Court.

President AJK High Court Bar Association Baber Ali Khan Advocate chaired the conference which was attended and addressed among others by Fiyaz Haider Nawabi Advocate, Vice Chairman AJK Bar Council, Raja Tariq Bashir Advocate, President AJK Supreme Court Bar Association, President Mirpur District Bar Association Masood A. Sheikh, Advocate and President of all other district and tehsil bar associations of Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Through a unanimously-passed resolution, the lawyers congregation demanded induction of judges – within a month – against all vacant positions in the High Court of Azad Jammu & Kashmir purely on merit in line with law and constitution.

The conference announced to stage complete weekly boycott of all superior and subordinate courts on every Thursday by the lawyers across Azad Jammu Kashmir under the auspices of all concerned district and tehsil bar associations for next one month.

The legal fraternity’s mega representative conference also unanimously announced, through the resolution, to expand the protest program by staging protest by all bar associations of AJk at ‘D’ Chowk in Islamabad if the above required 08 number of judges were not appointed to the High Court of Azad Jammu Kashmir within the next stipulated one month period given by the AJK lawyers representative conference.

The lawyers representative conference also unanimously underlined that since the AJK High Court Bar Association has filed a contempt application in the High Court of AJK for defying order of the AJK High Court about appointment of the judges in the AJK Court, the AJK Bar Council and all the bar associations of entire Azad Jammu Kashmir State would appear as the petitioners.

Earlier, while addressing the conference, the chair and President AJK High Court Bar Association Baber Ali Khan Advocate contended that AJK judiciary was suffering with worst crises since the past over one and half of a year because of the lack of eight number of judges in the 09-member High Court of the State.

Baber continued that thousands of the new and under-trial cases were lying pending in the AJK High Court because of the lack of judges against the vacant posts – where the sitting High Court is functioning comprising an only judge – the Chief Justice of the Court, he underlined.

The AJK HC Bar Association President further said that the lack of full bench of the AJK High Court due to the non-appointment of judges against the much-delayed vacant positions since long, was badly affecting not only the litigants – but also the legal community across Azad Jammu Kashmir.

“It is enjoined upon the government of Azad Jammu Kashmir to complete the due structure of the courts to ensure dispensation of speedy and inexpensive justice to the needy in the State”, Baber Ali Khan Advocate emphasized.

The AJK HC Bar Association President called upon the State government to immediately move for performing her due constitutional responsibility to ensure the delivery of speedy and expensive justice and the upholding of the supremacy of law and constitution through getting the State freed from the current judicial crises prevailing since long.

Concluding, Babar Ali Khan Advocate underlined that it was the categorical ruling of the Supreme Court of Azad Jammu Kashmir in famous ‘Younis Tahir Case” that fresh appointment of a judge against the vacant position falling as a result of the retirement of a judge, is required to be filled in within next 30 days and similarly the position fallen vacant suddenly as a result of the death of any judge is required to be filled in within next 90 days.

It may be added that then Supreme Court of Azad Jammu Kashmir comprising then Chief Justice Muhammad Azam Khan and Judge (current Chief Justice) Raja Saeed Akram Khan had said in the order “whenever a seat becomes vacant in the High Court of AJK due to the retirement of a judge in routine, will have to be filled in within next 30 days from the date of retirement and if a seat in the HC becomes vacant due to any other reason like death of a judge or resignation by a judge, is required to be filled in within next 90 days”.