Anti-corruption courts: SC gives govt one week to appoint judges -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Anti-corruption courts: SC gives govt one week to appoint judges

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave government a week to fill vacancies of judges of special Anti-Corruption Courts in Karachi and Hyderabad, with directions to fix responsibility against those who had caused the delay in the process of appointments.

“We know very well how influential people used their influence to delay the appointment of a judge in the Special Anti-Corruption Court of Karachi and managed to get bails on technical grounds,” the court said.

The apex court expressed surprise over the 14-month delay in the appointment of a judge in the Central Special Anti-Corruption Court in Karachi and because of this several accused allegedly involved in serious cases obtained bail on the expiry of the statutory period in jail.

The chief justice observed that the government would be held responsible for any damages.

The Deputy Attorney General informed a three-member bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain that 17 summaries had been sent to the prime minister for approval after which the law ministry would issue notifications for appointment of the judges of the special courts, and asked the court to give two weeks for completion of the process.

The Chief Justice, however, observed that it was not a routine job but an extraordinary task which had to be completed as soon as possible.

Justice Khwaja also observed that the post lying vacant for the longest time should be filled first. The Deputy Attorney General insisted that it was not possible before the approval of the prime minister.

When the Deputy Attorney General conceded that there was no judge in the Central Special Anti-Corruption Court of Karachi for a long time, Justice Khwaja asked as to who was responsible for the delay.

The Chief Justice obser-ved that several posts in special courts were lying vacant for a long time and regretted that despite a clear direction no progress had been made.

The hearing was adjourned till July 10, with directions for production of the notifications for appointment of judges on the next date of hearing.