h1

P L D 1996 SC 324

AL-JEHAD TRUST

V/S

FEDERATION OF PAKISTAN


(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Arts. 196, 177, 193, 180, 181 182 & 197

some relevent Conclusions and directions in the short order of the Court in Constitutional Petition no. 29 of 1995:

Conclusion no.(iii): That the permanent vacancies occurring in the offices of Chief Justice and Judges normally should be filled in immediately not later than 30 days but a vacancy occurring before the due date on account of death or for any other reasons, should be filled in within 90 days on permanent basis. (P. 366) B

direction no. (a): That permanent Chief Justices should be appointed in terms of the above conclusion No.(iii) in the High Courts where there is no permanent incumbent of the office of the Chief Justice. (p. 366) M

direction no. (c): That appropriate action be initiated for filling in permanent vacancies of Judges in terms of above conclusion No.(iii). (p.366) O

Per: Sajjad Ali Shah, C. J.—

The scheme of the appointments of the Judges as envisaged in the Constitution clearly indicates that they are of permanent nature and if there are vacancies of temporary nature, then temporary appointments can also be made of Acting and Ad hoc Judges in the Supreme Court and Acting Chief Justices in the Supreme Court and the High Courts. If in the normal course, a permanent vacancy occurs, the same should be filed in within thirty days. But if such vacancy occurs before due date of retirement of a Judge on account of death or for any other reason, then the same should be filled in within ninety days on permanent basis. Under Article 181 of the Constitution if there is a vacancy in the Supreme Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court is absent or unable to perform the functions of his office due to any cause, Acting Judge can be appointed from a High Court who is qualified for appointment in the Supreme Court. The explanation to this Article further provides that a Judge of a High Court includes a person who has retired as a Judge of High Court, which means a retired Judge of a High Court can be appointed as Acting Judge before he attains the age of sixty-five which is the age of superannuation in the Supreme Court. Under Article 182, for want of quorum of the Judges in the Supreme or for any other reason, if it becomes necessary to increase temporarily the number of Judges, the Chief Justice may in writing have appointment of Ad hoc Judges with the approval of the President. The following persons are eligible for such appointment: A retired Judge of the Supreme Court can be appointed if three years have not elapsed from the date of his retirement. A serving Judge of a High Court can also be appointed provided he is qualified to be the Judge of the Supreme Court. It appears from the perusal of Article 182 that even these appointments cater for temporary situation in which the number of the Judges is to be increased after the sanctioned strength of the Court is filled with the permanent appointments. [p. 406] JJ

We are of the view that Acting Chief Justices are appointed for a short time and for that reason, in the relevant Articles, automatic arrangement is provided particularly in the appointment of the Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, but no criterion is laid down in the provision of appointment of Acting Chief Justice of the High Court. In all fairness, the period for such acting appointment should not be more than ninety days during which Acting Chief Justice may perform functions of routine nature excluding “recommendations” in respect of appointment of Judges. We say so for three reasons. Firstly, Article 180, which provides for appointment of the Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan and Article 196, which provides for appointment of the Acting Chief Justice of a High Court, do not specifically provide that they can participate in the consultative scheme of the appointment of the Judges as envisaged in the Constitution. Secondly, Acting Chief Justice are supposed to be functioning for a short time and, therefore, it would not be fair to allow them to interfere with policy-making matters and appointments in the Judiciary which should be left for permanent incumbents. Thirdly, Article 209 of the Constitution contemplates the composition of the Supreme Judicial Council which is supposed to be comprised of (a) the Chief Justice of Pakistan, (b) two next senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, and (c) two most senior Chief Justices of the High Courts. In the explanation appointment of Acting Chief Justices is expressly excluded which clearly shows that the intention of the Constitution-makers is that the Acting Chief Justices are allowed to function for a short time and more importance is to be attached to permanent Chief Justices and in the absence of permanent Chief Justices of the High Courts or, even for that matter, of the Supreme Court, the composition of the Supreme Judicial Council becomes imperfect and the Body as such becomes unfunctional. [p. 407] KK
Per Ajmal Mian, J.–

I may observe that the concept of an Acting Chief Justice was introduced during pre-partition days as the Chief Justice used to be Englishmen and they used to go on leave to United Kingdom. The provisions of Acting Chief Justice were retained by India in its Constitution and by Pakistan in its four Constitutions which we had up to 1973. The object of Acting Chief Justice is to have a stop-gap arrangement. It is a matter of common knowledge that most of the Acting Chief Justice do not take any decision relating to important policy matters of the Court concerned without consulting the permanent Chief Justice. If the permanent incumbent concerned is not accessible, the acting incumbent waits for his return. However, unfortunately during Martial Law days, the practice of appointing Acting Chief Justices for long periods was adopted apparently with the intention to keep the Judiciary under the control of executive, which was not a commendable object. It militated against the concept of independence of Judiciary and separation of Judiciary from the executive. I have already stated hereinabove that even now there are Acting Chief Justices in three High Court and the Federal Shariat Court. It may be pointed out that under Article 203-C(4), the Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court is to be appointed for a period not exceeding three years, but he may be appointed for further term or terms as the President may determine. The notification dated 18-7-1994 of the present incumbent, which has been filed in the present proceedings, indicates that he was appointed on 18-7-1994 with immediate effect and until further orders.(p. 501) YYY

I am, therefore, of the view that it is the constitutional obligation of the President/Executive to ensure that the constitutional offices do not remain vacant and the vacancies are filled in without any delay. The provisions relating to appointments of Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, Acting Judges of the Supreme Court and Acting Chief Justice of a High Court are intended and designed to cater for emergency. They cannot be used as a substitute for making permanent appointments under Article 177 and 193 of the Constitution. (p. 501) WWW

I am, therefore, of the view that a normal permanent vacancy should e filled in advance and, in any case, not later than 30 days, whereas vacancy occurring on account of death or for any unforeseen cause, at the most, should be filled in within 90 days, which is generally considered to be a reasonable period.

This view, which I am inclined to take, is in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution, keeping in view the concept of the independence of Judiciary as enshrined therein. It is also in accord with the above speech of the Quaid-i-Azam, wherein he depricated the practice of appointment of Additional Judges. It is further in line with the aforesaid International Human Rights Commission’s report. [p. 501] XXX
Per Manzoor Hussain Sial, J.–

The permanent vacancies occurring in the offices of Chief Justice and Judges of the superior Courts are required to be filled in immediately not later than 30 days, but if the vacancy occurs before the due date on account of death or for any other reason, that should be filled in within 90 days on permanent basis. The Constitutional offices like that of Chief Justice or the Judges should not remain vacant for indefinite period, which may tend to impair the independence of Judiciary. Under Article 41(5) of the Constitution, the vacancy of an office of the President is filled in by election not later than 30 days form the occurrence of the vacancy. The date of retirement of the Judges is known to the Federal Government, since the day they are appointed. The process of appointment of their successors, therefore, can be commenced in advance, so that the successors-Judges are appointed immediately after the vacancies occur. In case of a vacancy arising suddenly on account of death or for any other reason the appointment of the successor Judge can be made within reasonable time. The period of 30 days to fill in the vacancy of constitutional office of a Judge has been laid down by adopting the criterion given in the provision of Article 41(5) of the Constitution which prescribes the period for filling in the vacancy of another constitutional office. (p. 530) WWWWW

The law is that where the Constitution provides a criterion for doing a thing in one provision then that criterion can be utilised for doing another thing of similar nature provided in the Constitution. (p. 531) XXXX

The period of 90 days to fill in the vacancy having occurred suddenly on account of death or for any other reason is considered a reasonable period because it is important to fill in the vacancies of the constitutional offices of Judges speedily and by doing so the concept of independence of Judiciary will be strengthened. (p. 531) YYYY
(b) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 200

That transfer of a Judge of one High Court to another High Court can only be made in the public interest and not as a punishment. (p.366) H
Per Sajjad Ali Shah, C.J.–

Article 200 of the Constitution contemplates transfer of Judges from one High Court to another by the President after “consultation” with the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Chief Justice of both the High Courts. No such consultation is necessary if the transfer is for two years. It appears that this transfer can be allowed if it is in the public interest and is not be way of punishment. (p. 409) PP
Per Ajmal Mian, J.–

It is clear from the above amended form of above clause, in any case, the consultation of the Chief Justices is required even if the transfer is for less than two years and secondly, a permanent Chief Justice cannot be transferred under the above provisions of the Constitution. The above consultation as I have already held while construing inter alia Article 177 and 193, should be meaningful, purposive, consensus-oriented, leaving no room for complaint or arbitrariness or unfair play. (p. 517) OOOO

“Transfer of a High Court Judge to another High Court and his appointment to the Federal Shariat Court are referred to and discussed hereinbelow. However, it will suffice to observe that I am inclined to hold that a transfer of a High Court Judge to another High Court or to the Federal Shariat Court can only be made in the public interest and not for an object alien to the said object, and that the question, whether a transfer is for a public interest is justiciable even at the behest of a lawyer. (p. 518) PPPP

I am, therefore, of the view that the above transfer power cannot be invoked by the President/Executive for any purpose other than public interest and that too the transfer order can be made after consultation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan in the above terms. The power of transfer cannot be pressed into service for the purpose of inflicting punishment on a Judge or for any other extraneous consideration. (p. 519) QQQQ

Per Manzoor Hussain Sial, J.–

Article 200 of the Constitution relates to transfer of a High Court Judge to another High Court without his consent for a period of two years. The perusal of this provision of the Constitution shows that consultation of the Chief Justice in needed even if the transfer is for a period of less than 2 years, and a permanent Chief Justice cannot be transferred at all. (p. 540) PPPP

“….. it will suffice to observe that I am inclined to hold that a transfer of High Court Judge to another High Court or to the Federal Shariat Court can only be made in the public interest and not for an object alien to the said object, and that the question, whether a transfer is for a public interest is justiciable even at the behest of a lawyer. It is, therefore, clear that the President cannot transfer a Judge of a High Court to another High Court except in public interest after consultation with Chief Justice of Pakistan (p. 540) QQQQQ
Per Manzoor Hussain Sial, J.

(c) Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Art. 196

That it is not desirable to send a Supreme Court Judge as an Acting Chief Justice to a High Court in view of clear adverse observation of this Court in the case of Abrar Hassan v. Government of Pakistan and others PLD 1976 SC 315 at 342 (P. 366) k
Per Sajjad Ali Shah, C.J.–

Although the Constitution does allow under Article 196, which provides for appointment of Acting Chief Justice of a High Court, a Judge of the Supreme Court to act as the Chief Justice of the High Court for a short time but we are of the view that this practice should be avoided and it would be much better if it is not done for reasons firstly that if a Judge of the Supreme Court goes as Acting Chief Justice then his judgments become appealable in the Supreme Court of which he is a permanent Judge. Secondly, such appointment causes embarrassment to the Judge of the Supreme Court because the Judges of the High Court normally do not welcome such an appointment. (p. 409) SS

There may be exceptional cases in which no control could be exercised over the situation. For instance, after imposition of Martial Law on 5th July, 1977, the Chief Justices of the High Courts were made Governors of the Provinces and in their places in the High Courts Acting Chief Justices were appointed. It so happened that the Chief Justices remained away from the High Courts as the Governors for about fifteen months and Acting Chief Justices had to perform their duties. There was Martial Law in the country and the Constitution was held in abeyance and the system under that arrangement had to continue. In such circumstances, the Judges had to be appointed and for such appointments in the High Court, “recommendations” were made by the Acting Chief Justices. The Martial Law remained operative for a long time and the Supreme Court gave it cover of validity on the ground of the doctrine of necessity and empowered the CMLA to amend the Constitution. Article 270-A was inserted in the Constitution by P.O, No. 14 of 1985, which was substituted by Act XVIII of 1985 passed by the Parliament to enable withdrawal of Martial Law vide Proclamation dated 30th December, 1985. All the appointments made in the past or for that matter in the distant past on the recommendations” of the Acting Chief Justices are void ab initio because they were validated later in the process and have become past and closed transaction. (p. 407) LL
Per Ajmal Mian, J.–

It may be observed that sending of a Supreme Court Judges to a High Court as an Acting Chief Justice is undesirable in view of the adverse observation in the judgment of this Court in the case of Abrar Hasan v. Government of Pakistan (PLD 1976 SC 315 at 342). Even otherwise this causes heart burning amongst the Judges of the High court concerned, which is not conducive for maintaining congenial working relation. (p. 494) SSS

There seems to be force in the above contention of Mr. S.M. Zafar s admittedly there is no security of tenure for an acting incumbent. We have experienced recently that Mr. Justice Saad Saood Jan, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan against the permanent vacancy but the notification of his appointment was withdrawn within a day without assigning any reason after about one and a half months. (p. 499) VVV
Per Manzoor Hussain Sial, J.–

Article 196 is different in its import than Article 193, which relates to appointment of permanent Chief Justice of the High Court. The concept of Acting Chief Justice was initially introduced in India during pre-partition days, but had always meant appointment of an Acting Chief Justice as stopgap arrangement. He is not supposed to take decisions relating to important policy matters without consulting the permanent Chief (p. 533) DDDDD

The definition of Chief Justice as contained in Article 260 of the Constitution includes the Judge for the time being acting as Chief Justice of the Court. The words “time being” clearly indicate that the Acting Chief Justice has only been appointed to meet the emergency and for a brief period. Reference to the definition of word “include” Aiyer’s Judicial Dictionary, 10th Edition, indicates that it signifies something which does not belong to specie. Indeed the Constitution recognises this distinction. Thus in Article 209 for the purpose of determining the inter se seniortiy of Chief Justices of the High Courts the dates of their appointment as Acting Chief Justice have to be ignored. Again in Article 200 which deals with the transfer of High Court Judges, while a Judge who is for the time being acting as Chief Justice of a High Court, is deemed to be only a Judge of the High Court; the Chief Justice is not so included. This clearly demonstrates that an Acting Chief Justice of the High Court is treated as a specie different from the permanent Chief justice. Both Mr. Fakhruddin G Ebrahim and S. M. Zafar stated that Acting Chief Justice is not “consultee” within the meaning of two relevant Articles of the Constitution. He is supposed to deal with only routine matters, and himself being holder of an office for a brief period cannot give opinion for the permanent appointment of Judges of the superior Courts, nor can deal with long term policy matters. (p. 533) EEEEE

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: