ISLAMABAD — Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court has called upon Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial to do his “constitutional duty” and urgently convene a meeting of the Judicial Commission to appoint judges to the apex court.
In a letter to Chief Justice Bandial, Justice Isa has expressed concern at the delay in appointment of five judges to the Supreme Court because these positions have been vacant for a long time now.
Voicing his opinion, Justice Isa wrote, “The Judicial Commission of Pakistan with regard to nominations to the Supreme Court (the Commission) comprises of nine Members, including the Chief Justice who acts as the Commission’s Chairman.
“Over 50,000 cases have accumulated in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice and 16 Judges constitute the Supreme Court. However, there are five vacancies in the Supreme Court, which works out to 726 lost days. It pains me to state that cases filed in the Supreme Court are unlikely to ever get decided if the vacancies are not filled in,” reads the letter from Justice Isa, who served as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court from August 5, 2009 to September 5, 2014, before being elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Justice Isa says, “The people of Pakistan have invested heavily in the Supreme Court which employs about 700 staff and has a considerable budget. Therefore, it is not understandable why the Supreme Court is working at a significant 30 percent reduced capacity.”
He says, “Every passing day that the five vacancies remain unfilled adds to the existing mountain of cases, threatening to render it insurmountable, which may leave the Supreme Court dysfunctional. The same staff and money which would serve a full court also serves a truncated one, therefore, there’s a needless haemorrhaging of resources.”
He elaborated, “The Constitution requires that expeditious justice be ensured and this responsibility falls upon on the Supreme Court, of which you are the Chief Justice. We must not let down the people of Pakistan, erode their confidence in the Supreme Court and continue to waste their hard earned money.
“Sir, I have repeatedly called upon you to do your constitutional duty, and let the Members of the Commission do theirs. Therefore, please convene a meeting of the Commission immediately to enable the Commission to nominate judges to the Supreme Court,” concluded Justice Isa, who has been at the centre of a corruption reference involving his wife Sarina Isa recently.