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SC Detailed Reasons in Constitution petition under Article 184 of the Constitution regarding seniority of the Judges of Lahore High Court Case

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

(ORIGINAL JURISDICTION)

 

PRESENT:

MR. JUSTICE TASSADUQ HUSSAIN JILLANI, HCJ

MR. JUSTICE NASIR-UL-MULK

MR. JUSTICE ANWAR ZAHEER JAMALI

MR. JUSTICE ASIF SAEED KHAN KHOSA

MR. JUSTICE EJAZ AFZAL KHAN 

 

CONSTITUTION PETITION NO. 9 OF 2014
(Constitution petition under Article 184 of the Constitution regarding  seniority  of  the  Judges  of  Lahore  High  Court, Lahore)

Muhammad Aslam Awan, ASC                                                                  … Petitioner

VERSUS

Federation of Pakistan and others                                                       … Respondents

 

For the Petitioner:                              Mr. Zaka ur Rehman Awan, ASC

On Court Notice:                                 Mr. Salman Aslam Butt, Attorney General

Mr.  Taimur  Khan,  Consultant  to  Attorney General

Sardar  Dilnawaz  Cheema,  Consultant  to Attorney General

Dates of Hearing:   05 & 06.05.2014

 

ORDER

   TASSADUQ  HUSSAIN JILLANI,  CJ.- The  question  of inter se seniority of High Court Judges has been raised off and on either  on  the  administrative  side  in  the  respective  High  Courts  or through representations addressed to  the  President  of  Pakistan. Such issues though important for the Judges concerned, yet have a potential to cause some ripple in the comity of Judges and it is imperative  that  those  be  resolved  in  the  light  of  some  objective criterion to be laid down by this Court.

2.    Leaving  the  question  of  seniority  to  be  decided  by  the President  or  by  the  concerned  Chief  Justice  of  a  High  Court without  reference  to  any  objective  criterion  may raise  issues  of judicial  independence  which  is mandated  under  the  Constitution and is essential in a democracy. Judicial independence both of the individual Judge and of the Judiciary as an institution is essential so that those who bring their causes / cases before the Judges and the  public  in  general  have  confidence  that  their  cases  would  be decided  justly  and  in  accordance  with  law.  Judicial  independence is  one  of  the  foundational  values  of  the  Constitution  of  Islamic Republic  of  Pakistan  which  is  based  on  trichotomy  of  powers  in which  the  functions  of  each  organ  of  the  State  have  been constitutionally delineated.  The  very  Preamble  of the  Constitution pledges  “wherein  the  independence  of  judiciary  shall  be  fully secured”.  The  Constitution  makers  conferred  this  independence because  they  wanted  the  Judges  to  “do  right  to  all  manner  of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will” (Oath  of  office  of  Judges).  The  fundamental  rights  guaranteed under  the  Constitution  cannot  be  secured  unless  Judiciary  is independent because the enforcement of these rights has been left to  Judiciary  in  terms  of  Articles  184(3)  &  199  of  the  Constitution and  the  relevant  law.  Judiciary  has  not  been  made  part  of  the Executive or the Legislature (Article 7). The separation of Judiciary from  the  Executive  was  made  a  Constitutional  mandate  (Article 175(3). So jealously this independence has been guarded that even in  the  appointment  of  Judges  (Article  175A)  and  in  their  removal (Article  209)  the  primacy  is  that  of  the  Judiciary.  The  Judicial Commission  is  headed  by  the  Chief  Justice  of  Pakistan  and  its Members  comprise  of  four  senior  most  Judges  of  the  Supreme Court, a former Chief Justice or Judge of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of the respective High Courts (if the  appointment  is  that  of  the  Judge  of the  High  Court),  Minister for Law and Attorney General for Pakistan as also representative of the  Bar.  The  recommendations  made  by  the  Judicial  Commission are sent to the Parliamentary Committee which is to decide within 14 days, failing which the recommendations made by the Judicial Commission are deemed to have been affirmed. The primacy in the entire process of appointment of Judges is still with the Judiciary. The  Court  through  this  judgment  in  laying  down  a  criterion  / guideline  to  determine  the inter  se seniority  of  the  Judges  of  the High  Courts  has partly  been influenced to  protect  and  preserve this seminal Constitutional value.

3.    The  questions  raised  in  this  petition  are  two  fold:  (i) From which date the inter se seniority of Judges of the High Court appointed  under  Article  193  of  the  Constitution  vide  the  same order and date be reckoned i.e. from the date of their appointment as  Additional  Judges  under  Article  197  or  from  the  date  they are appointed as Judges under Article 193 of the Constitution, and (ii) what should be the criterion to determine the inter se seniority of Judges appointed the same day and vide the same order both from the  Bar  and  District  Judiciary? These questions  have  been  raised in the following set of circumstances:

    On 14.9.2009, the President of Pakistan in exercise of his  powers  under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution  of  Islamic Republic  of  Pakistan  appointed following 12  Additional  Judges  of the Lahore High Court “for a period of one year, with effect from the date they take oath of their offices”:

  1.  Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

  2.  Mr. Justice Sh. Najam ul Hassan

  3.  Mr. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik

  4.  Mr. Justice Asad Munir

  5.  Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan

  6.  Mr. Justice Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari

  7.  Mr. Justice Sardar Tariq Masood

  8.  Mr. Justice Tariq Javaid

  9.  Mr. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh

  10.  Mr. Justice Mansoor Akbar Kokab

  11.  Mr. Justice Kh. Imtiaz Ahmad

  12.  Mr. Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri

4.    On 17.2.2010 yet another notification was issued with regard  to  the  appointment  of 22  Additional  Judges  under  Article 197  of  the  Constitution “for  a  period  of one  year” with  effect  from the date they took oath of their offices. Their names are:-

1.  Mr. Justice Mian Shahid Iqbal

2.  Mr. Justice M. Farrukh Irfan Khan

3.  Mr. Justice Mamoon Rashid Shaikh

4.  Mr. Justice Shaukat Umar Pirzada

5.  Mr. Justice Waqar Hassan Mir

6.  Mr. Justice Yawar Ali Khan

7.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood

8.  Mr. Justice Ch. Shahid Saeed

9.  Mr. Justice M. Anwar Bhour

10.  Mr. Justice Ijaz Ahmad

11.  Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan

12.  Mr. Justice Hassan Raza Pasha

13.  Mr. Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi

14.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Anwar ul Haq

15.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan

16.  Mr. Justice Shahid Hameed Dar

17.  Mr. Justice Ch. Muhammad Tariq

18.  Mr. Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu

19.  Mr. Justice Rauf Ahmad Shaikh

20.  Mr. Justice Shaikh Ahmad Farooq

21.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Naseem Akhtar

22.  Mr. Justice Syed Akhlaq Ahmad

 5.    The  President  vide  the  notification  dated  17.2.2011 under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution,  extended  the  period  of following  18  out  of  34  Additional  Judges  (appointed  vide  the notifications referred to above) as Additional Judges “for a period of one year with effect from the date their present term expires”:

1.  Mr. Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri

2.  Mr. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh

3.  Mr. Justice Sh. Najam ul Hassan

4.  Mr. Justice Kh. Imtiaz Ahmad

5.  Mr. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik

6.  Mr. Justice Sardar Tariq Masood

7.  Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan

8.  Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

9.  Mr. Justice Sheikh Ahmad Farooq

10.  Mr. Justice Ch. Shahid Saeed

11.  Mr. Justice Rauf Ahmad Shaikh

12.  Mr. Justice Ijaz Ahmad

13.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan

14.  Mr. Justice Shahid Hameed Dar

15.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq

16.  Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan

17.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan

18.  Mr. Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu

6.    Out  of  the  afore-mentioned  18  Judges,  15 were appointed as Judges under Article 193 of the Constitution vide the notification  dated  11.5.2011  on  the  recommendation  of  Judicial Commission, who are as follows:-

1.  Mr. Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh

2.  Mr. Justice Sh. Najam ul Hassan

3.  Mr. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik

4.  Mr. Justice Sardar Tariq Masood

5.  Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan

6.  Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

7.  Mr. Justice Sheikh Ahmad Farooq

8.  Mr. Justice Ch. Shahid Saeed

9.  Mr. Justice Rauf Ahmad Shaikh

10.  Mr. Justice Ijaz Ahmad

11.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan

12.  Mr. Justice Shahid Hameed Dar

13.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq

14.  Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan

15.  Mr. Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu

7.    On 25.8.2011 the President (on the recommendation of the Judicial Commission and Parliamentary Committee) appointed another  three  Additional  Judges  as  Judges  of  the  High  Court under Article 193 of the Constitution with effect from the date they make  oath  of  their  offices  and  they  took  oath  on  5.9.2011. Those are:-

1.  Mr. Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri

2.  Mr. Justice Kh. Imtiaz Ahmad

3.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan

8.    On 2.12.2013, the Hon’ble Senior Puisne Judge of the Lahore  High  Court Mr.  Justice  Nasir  Saeed  Sheikh  requested  the Hon’ble  Chief  Justice  of  the  Lahore  High  Court that  the inter  se seniority  of  the  Judges  appointed  under  Article  193  of  the Constitution  be  determined  in  conformity  with  the  law  laid  down by this Court and, thereafter, the Administration Committee of the High  Court  be  reconstituted. The  Administration  Committee  was reconstituted on 14.12.2013.

9.    Learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner  contended  that  the notification  dated  14.12.2013  wherein  the  Administration Committee  was  reconstituted  is  violative  of  the  Constitution and the law laid down by this Court in Nadeem Ahmed vs. Federation of Pakistan (2013 SCMR 1062) and Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, Ministry  of  Law and  Parliamentary  Affairs  and  Justice Vs.  Sindh  High  Court  Bar  Association  through  President  (PLD 2012 SC 1067); that the inter se seniority of the Judges had to be determined by the Chief Justice; that it’s a long standing practice of  the  High  Court  that the  Judges  whose  appointments  are  made by a single order take seniority according to age; that an Additional Judge appointed under Article 197 of the Constitution is a specie apart; that if he is made permanent, a fresh appointment order is made  under  Article  193  of  the  Constitution  and  his  service  as Additional Judge cannot be counted towards his seniority; that the inter  se  seniority has  to  be  reckoned from  the  date  when  an Additional  Judge is  made  permanent  Judge  of  the  High  Court under  Article  193  of  the  Constitution.  He  contended  that  when  a person is appointed as Judge of the High Court under Article 193 of the Constitution, he has to take fresh oath and, therefore, it is a fresh appointment. He referred to Article 255(3) of the Constitution to contend that it has specifically been provided that “where, under the  Constitution,  a  person  is  required  to  make  an  oath  before  he enters upon an office, he shall be deemed to have entered upon the office  on  the  day  on  which  he  makes  the  oath”.  The  effect  of  the afore-referred provision, according to learned counsel, is that it is only  the  day  a  person  becomes  a  Judge  under  Article  193  of  the Constitution  when  he  can  be  considered  as  a  permanent  Judge and,  therefore, the inter  se seniority  has  to  be  reckoned  from the said date.

ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR PAKISTAN 

10.     Learned  Attorney  General  for  Pakistan  traced  the history  of  appointment  of  Additional  Judges  in  India which dates back to East India  (High  Courts  of  Judicature)  Act,  1861, under which  the  Judges  of  the High  Courts  were  appointed  by  Her Majesty  and held office  during  Her  Majesty’s  pleasure;  that  there was  a  provision  of  appointing  an  Acting  Judge  in  absence  of  a permanent Judge who was to perform the duties until the return of the  said  Judge  or  until  the  Governor  General  cancels  the appointment of the Acting Judge. This arrangement continued till the  Government  of  India  Act,  1935,  when  the  expression ‘Additional Judges’ was used for the first time in Section 222 of the Act  and  that  appointment  was  to  be  made  when  the  office  of  any Judge  was  vacant  and  the  Judges  so  appointed  were  for  a  period “not  exceeding  two  years”  as  the  case  may  be.  In  India  the Constitution  was  promulgated  in  1950,  Article  217  of  which empowered the President to appoint a Judge of the High Court and there was no mention of Additional or Acting Judge. Under Article 224 of the said Constitution, however, the Chief Justice of a High Court with the consent of the President  could request any person who had held the office of a Judge of the High Court ‘to sit and act as  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court  for  that  State”. In 1956,  Article  224 was  amended  and  it  was provided that  “if  by  reason  of  any temporary increase in the business of a High Court or by reason of arrears of work therein, it appears to the President that the number of  the  Judges  of  that  Court  should  be for  the  time  being  increased, the  President  may  appoint  duly  qualified  persons  to  be  additional Judges  of  the  Court  for  such  period  not  exceeding  two  years  as  he may  specify.”  In  India,  now,  every  Additional  Judge  becomes permanent when vacancy occurs. The first Constitution of Pakistan was  promulgated  in  1956,  Article  165  of  which provided  for  the appointment  of  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court.  On  18.11.1958  by virtue  of  Presidential  Order  No. 3 (The  Courts  (Additional  Judges) Order,  1958)  issued  by  General  Muhammad  Ayub  Khan  it  was stipulated that  “if  by  reason  of  any  temporary  increase  in  the business  of  the  Supreme  Court  or  of  a  High  Court  or  by  reason  of arrears  of  work  in  any  such  Court  it appears  to  the  President  that the  number  of  the  Judges  of  the  court  should  be for  the  time  being increased,  the  President  may  appoint  persons  duly  qualified  for appointment as Judges to be additional Judges of the Court for such period  not  exceeding  two  years  as  he  may  specify.” The mode  of appointment of Additional Judge became pari  materia with Article 224  of  the  Indian  Constitution. In  1962,  the  second  Constitution was  promulgated,  Article  96  of  which  codified in  pith  and substance  what  was  provided  in Presidential  Order  No.  3  of  1958 regarding  mode  of  appointment  of Additional Judge  of  the  High Court. In  1973,  the  Constitution  of  Pakistan which  is  in  vogue today  was  promulgated.  However,  Article 193 regarding  the  mode of appointment of Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court was amended  and  it  was laid  down that  the  President  shall  appoint these Judges in accordance with Article 175A of the Constitution. After  such  an  appointment,  oath  is  administered  to  such  an appointee  in  terms  of  Article  194  which  mandates that  “before entering  upon  office,  the  Chief  Justice  of  a  High  Court  shall  make before  the  Governor,  and  any  other  Judge  of  the  Court  shall  make before  the  Chief  Justice,  oath  in  the  form  set  out  in  the  Third Schedule”.  Learned  Attorney  General  submitted  that  Article  194 makes no difference between an Additional Judge and a permanent Judge. In support of his submission that the Constitution does not make a difference between the two offices, he referred to (i) Article 160, (ii) Article 177(2)(a), (iii) the wording of oath of office, and (iv) the  mode  of  appointment  provided  in  terms  of  Article  175A  of  the Constitution.

11.    Learned Attorney General for Pakistan cited the case of appointment  of  Mr.  Justice  Faqir  Muhammad  Khokhar,  Hon’ble former Judge, as Judge of the Supreme Court which appointment was  challenged  before  this  Court Supreme  Court  Bar  Association Vs. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2002 SC 939) to submit that in the said  case  the  petitioner  /  President  of  the  Supreme  Court  Bar Association had  challenged the  appointment inter  alia  on  the ground that he had not completed five years of service as Judge of the High Court to be eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court but this Court while computing the requisite service of five years as Judge  of  the  High  Court  included  the  period  he  served  as Additional Judge.

12.    Learned Attorney General referred to many precedents in  the  Lahore  High  Court in which the  seniority  of  Judges  went along with their appointment as Additional Judges. He contended that  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court  enters  the  office  from  the  day  he makes  oath  as  Judge  of  the  said  Court  as  Additional  Judge.  This Constitutional intent is evident from Article 194 of the Constitution which provides as under:-

“194.  Before entering upon office, the Chief Justice of a High Court  shall  make  before  the  Governor,  and  any  other  Judge of the Court shall make before the Chief Justice, oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule.”

 13.    This intent is further reinforced in Article 255(3) of the Constitution which reads as follows:-

“where,  under  the  Constitution,  a  person  is  required  to make  an  oath  before he enters upon  an  office, he  shall be deemed  to  have  entered  upon  the  office  on  the  day  on which he makes the oath”

14.    Similar  is  the  import,  according  to  him,  of  Article 275(4)  of  the  Constitution.  In  support  of  the  submissions  made, learned Attorney  General relied  on Begum  Tahira  Sultan  in  Re: (1989 MLD 4701), para 2 & 3 of which reads as follow:-

2.  I  requested  the  immediate  presence  of  Mr.  Abdul  Hafeez Memon,  the  Advocate-General  of  Sindh,  because  although  I could  not  expect  him  to  argue  the  question  at  such  short notice  I  wanted  a  clear  statement  on  behalf  of  the Government  whether  it  was  their  stand  that  this  Court continues to exist or not. He assured me in categorical terms on  behalf  of  the  Government  of  Sindh,  that  Government regarded this Court as a continuing body with all the powers and  functions  that  it  had  so  far  enjoyed  and  performed.  In this view of the matter Mr. Niamat Ullah Molvi agreed to file another  application  expressly  challenging  our  jurisdiction and it  was  agreed that  the question  would be argued today as it has been done.

3.  Today  Mr.  Molvi  has  filed  an  application  in  which  it  is expressly stated that this Court has no jurisdiction to take up any  matter  unless  a  fresh  oath  is  taken  by  the  Court,  by which  I  suppose  he  meant  the  judges  of  this  Court,  on  the ground  that  the  Constitution  of  1972  stood  repealed  as  on 10-4-1973 the date of its enactment. Without prejudice to this contention,  it  was  also  urged  in  the  application  that  the Constitution  of  1973  had  already  come  into  force  and  that we  could  not  function  unless  we  took  oath  under  that Constitution.  So  far  as  the  last  question  is  concerned  it  is easily  dealt  with  because,  even  assuming  that  the Constitution  of  1973  has  come  into  force  Article  275  of  that Constitution  expressly  continues  in  office  the  Chief  Justice and  other  Judges  of  the  High  Courts  and  sub-Article  (4)  of that Article does not require that an oath be taken before any functions  are  performed  by  such  an  official  but  only  that  he shall  take  as  soon  as  is  practicable  after  the  commencing date,  the  prescribed  oath.  It  is  to  be  noted  that  in  the Constitution  of  1973,  as  in  the  Constitution  of  the  1972, certain functionaries enter upon their office only after  taking an oath but that both these Constitutions provided in respect of  such  persons  as  were  already  in  office  that  they  would continue  to  be  in  office  and  that  they  would  take  oath  as soon as was practicable. In point of fact even when the 1972 Constitution  came  into  force,  the  Judges  of  this  Court including myself, did not take the oath upon the commencing date but a few days later.”

 15.    In support of the above contention, he relied upon yet another judgment in Hira Singh and others Vs. Jai Singh etc (AIR 1937 Allahabad 588).

16.    He also referred to Muhammad Siddique Ahmed Khan vs.  Pakistan  Railways (1997  SCMR  1514) to  contend  that  even  in civil service, the seniority in grade of an officer is with effect from his  continuous  officiation  in  that  grade  and  not  from  his confirmation.  At page 1520 of the judgment, this Court observed as follows:-

“It is settled position of law that seniority in a grade will be accorded  to  an  officer  with  effect  from  the  date  of  his continuous officiation in that grade  and not from the date of his  confirmation.  Similar  view  was  taken  in  the  case  Araab Mukhtar  Ahmed  v.  Secretary  to  Government  of  Pakistan, Establishments  Division,  Rawalpindi  (1983  PLC  (C.S.)  104). Learned  counsel  for  the  appellants  Engineering  Officers’ Association and others v. State Maharashtra and others (AIR 1990 SC 1607), (sic) where it was observed by the Supreme Court of India that once an incumbent is appointed to a post, his  seniority  has  to  be  counted  from  the  date  of  his appointment  and  not  from  the  date  of  confirmation.  It  was also  observed  that  where  an  appointment  is  not  made  by following  the  procedure  laid  down  by  the  rules  but  the appointee  continues  in  the  post  uninterruptedly  till  the regularization of his service in accordance with the rules, the period of officiating service will be counted.”

17.    He  also  referred  to the  Indian  judgment  reported  at The Director Recruits Class-II Engineering Officers Association and others  Vs.  State  of  Maharashtra  and  others (AIR  1990  SC  1607) wherein the seniority of a civil servant was counted from the date of  his  appointment  and  not  from  the  date  of  his  confirmation, relevant portion of the judgment is as under:-

“44. To sum up, we hold that:

(A)  Once an incumbent is appointed to a post according to rule,  his  seniority  has  to  be  counted  from  the  date  of  his appointment  and  not  according  to  the  date  of  his confirmation. The corollary of the above rule is that where the initial appointment is only ad hoc and not according to rules and made as a stop-gap arrangement, the officiation in such post  cannot  be  taken  into  account  for  considering  the seniority.

(B)  If the initial appointment is not made by following the procedure laid down by the rules but the appointee continues in  the  post  uninterruptedly  till  the  regularisation  of  his service in accordance  with the rules, the period of officiating service will be counted.

18.    He  also  relied  on Al-Jehad  Trust  Vs.  Federation  of Pakistan (PLD  1996  SC  324)  wherein  this  Court dilated  upon  the distinguishing  feature  of  the  appointment  of  Judges  in  the  High Court  made  under  the  Indian  Constitution  and  appointment  of Additional  Judges  of  the  High  Court  in Pakistan, wherein at  page

506, it was held as follows:-

“It will not be out of context to mention that the above provision  was  lifted  from  clause  (1)  of  Article  224  of  the Indian Constitution, 1950, which reads as follows:–

“224.  Appointment  of-additional  and  acting Judges.—(1)  If  by  reason  of  any  temporary increase  in  the  business  of  a  High  Court  or by  reason  of  arrears  of  work  therein,  it appears to the President that-the number of the  Judges  of  that  Court  should  be  for  the time  being  increased,  the  President  may appoint  duly  qualified  persons  to  be additional  Judges  of  the  Court  for  such period  not  exceeding  two  years  as  he  may specify.”

  At this juncture, it may be pertinent to mention that in 1956 Constitution, there was no provision for appointment of Additional Judges in view of  above speech of Quaid-e-Azam made  by  him  in  1931  in  the  aforesaid  Sub-Committee deprecating the practice of appointing Additional Judges. But in  1958,  the  then  President  Ayub  Khan  issued  the  above President  Order.  Article  96  was  incorporated  in  1962 Constitution  for  appointment  of  Additional  Judges  even against permanent vacancies. This provision has been lifted in  1972  Interim  Constitution  and  1973  Permanent Constitution.

  It  may  be  noticed  that  under  the  above  President Order  of  1958  and  under  clause  (1)  of  Article  224  of  the Indian Constitution, an Additional Judge could be appointed in the following, two contingencies: —

(i) temporary increase in the business of a High Court; and

(ii) temporary increase in arrears of work.

 Whereas  under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution,  an Additional  Judge  can  be  appointed  against  a  permanent vacancy or  when a High Court Judge is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause or  for  any  reason  it  is  necessary  to  increase  the  number  of Judges  of  a  High  Court. In  other  words,  under  Article 224(l) of  the  Indian  Constitution,  the  appointment  of  an  Additional Judge is purely temporary  to  achieve the above two objects, whereas  under  our  Constitution,  though  the  appointment  of an Additional Judge is to be made for a period not exceeding two years but an Additional Judge can be appointed against a permanent vacancy. This makes a lot of difference.

 I  may  observe  that  the  parity  of  reasoning  for  not appointing an Acting Chief Justice or an Acting Judge in the Supreme Court  against,  permanent  vacancies  for  a  long period  is  equally  applicable  to  an  appointment  of  an Additional  Judge  in  the  High  Court  against  a  permanent vacancy.  However,  I  may  point  out  that  a practice/convention  has  developed  in  Pakistan  that  in  the High Courts Judges are first appointed as Additional Judges; either for a period of one year initially and then this period is extended  to  two  years  or  they  are  initially  appointed  for  a period  of  two  years  (during  1977  Martial  Law  this  period was extended to three years) and then they are appointed as permanent  Judges.  Since  there  was  no  provision  in  the  late Pakistan Constitution of 1956, which remained operative for a short period, for appointment of Additional Judges, in those days  Judges  in  the  High  Courts  initially  were  appointed permanently.” (Emphasis is supplied)

19.    He added that even in India when an Additional Judge of  the  High  Court  is  appointed  as  Judge  / (permanent) Judge  his seniority is reckoned from the date of his initial appointment as an Additional  Judge. He  relied  on Shanti  Bhushan  and  another  Vs. Union of India (AIR 2008 SC (Supp) 895) wherein at page 904 it is observed as under:-

“10.  It  is  to  be  noted  that  an  Additional  Judge  cannot  be said to be on probation for the purpose of appointment  as  a Permanent  Judge.  This  position  is  clear  from  the  fact  that when  an  Additional  Judge  is  appointed  there  may  not  be vacancy  for  a  Permanent  Judge.  The  moment  a  vacancy arises,  the  Chief  Justice  of  the  concerned  High  Court  is required to send a proposal for appointment of the Additional Judge as Permanent Judge along with material as indicated in  para  13.  The rigour  of  the  scrutiny  and  the  process  of selection  initially  as  an  Additional  Judge  and  a  Permanent Judge  are  not  different.  The  yardsticks  are  the  same.

Whether  a  person  is  appointed  as  an  Additional Judge or  a Permanent Judge  on  the  same  date,  he  has  to  satisfy  the high  standards  expected  to  be  maintained  as  a  Judge.

Additionally,  on  being  made permanent,  the  effect  of  such permanency relates back to the date of initial appointment as an Additional Judge. The parameters of paragraph 12 of the memorandum  cannot  be  transported  in  its  entirely  to paragraph  13.  To  being  with,  while  making  the recommendations for appointment of an Additional Judge as a  permanent  Judge,  Chief  Justice  of  the  High  Court  is  not required  to  consult  the  collegium  of  the  High  Court. (Emphasis is supplied)

20.    On  being  asked  by  this  Court,  learned  Attorney General submitted that eversince the creation of this country, the practice  is  that  the  seniority  of  Judges  of  the  High  Courts  is reckoned  from  the  date  of  their  initial  appointment  as  Additional Judges. He cited  the  example  of  late  former  Chief  Justice  of Pakistan  Mr.  Justice  Anwar  ul  Haq who  was  appointed  as Additional Judge  of  the  West  Pakistan  High  Court  on  24.10.1959 and  was  made  a  Judge  /  permanent  Judge  on  24.10.1962.  As against  this, two Hon’ble  Judges  of  the  High  Court Mr.  Justice Moulvi Mushtaq Hussain and Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Iqbal were directly appointed as Judges of the High Court on 1.10.1962 which  is  before  Mr.  Jusice  Anwar  ul  Haq  was  made  a  Judge  / permanent Judge (i.e. 24.10.1962) but he always ranked senior to the  former  Judges.  He  added  that  he  did  not  find  any  contrary practice  in  this  regard.  This  practice,  he  further  contended,  has become  almost  a  Constitutional  convention  and  it  has  to  be considered accordingly. In this regard he referred to a judgment of this Court reported at Malik Asad Ali and others Vs. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 1998 SC 161).

21.    He  also  referred  to  another  judgment  of  this  Court reported  at  Federation  of  Pakistan  Vs.  Sindh  High  Court  Bar Association (PLD 2012 SC 1067) wherein this Court reiterated the view that the seniority of Judges shall be reckoned from the date of their initial appointment.

22.    In  the  case  regarding  pensionary  benefits  of  the Judges of Superior Courts (PLD 2013 SC 829), this Court candidly held that an Additional Judge is covered under the definition of a Judge and, therefore, entitled to pension similarly as Judge of the High Court. In para 84, the Court observed as under:-

“84.       The  submissions  made  by  some  of  the  learned Advocate  Supreme  Courts  that  “Additional  Judges”  of  the High  Court,  being  covered  with  the  definition  of  “Judge”  as defined under Article 260(1)(c) of the Constitution, are equally entitled for right to pension like permanent judges of the High Court,  have  much  force  as  at  one  place  the  definition  of ‘Judge’ in the above referred Article of the Constitution clearly defines that in relation to the High Court, a person who is an Additional  Judge  of  the  High  Court,  is  also  included  in  the definition of a Judge and at the other place under Article 197 of  the  Constitution,  relating  to  appointment  of  Additional Judges also, no discrimination is identified for the purpose of holding  them  disentitled  for  right  to  pension like  any  permanent  judge  of  the  High  Court,  who,  in terms  of  Article  195  of  the  Constitution,  will  retire  on attaining  the  age  of  62  years,  unless  he  resigns  sooner  or removed from the office in accordance  with the Constitution. It  will  be  also  pertinent  to  mention  here  that  under paragraph-2  of  the  President’s  Order  3  of  1997,  “Additional Judge”  and  “Judge” of  the  High  Court  have  been separately defined as under:–

“2(c)  “Additional  Judge”  means  a  Judge  appointed  by the President to be an Additional Judge.”

“2(f) “Judge” means a Judge of High Court and include the  Chief  Justice,  and  Acting  Chief  Justice  and  an Additional Judge.”

 From  the  reading  of  above  two  definitions,  again  it  is clear  that  definition  of  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court  also includes  additional  judge,  therefore,  no  exception  could  be taken in determination of his right to pension for the reason that  he  has  not  yet  been  appointed  as  permanent  judge  of the  High  Court  in  terms  of  Article  193  of  the  Constitution. Another added reason in support of this conclusion emerges from  the  combined  reading  of  paragraph-2  of  the  Fifth Schedule  to  Article  205  of  the  Constitution,  speaking  about “every  judge”,  and  the  definitions  of “judge”  under  Article  260(1)(c)(b)  of  the  Constitution  and paragraph-2(f) of President’s Order 3 of 1997, which leave no room for exclusion of “Additional Judge” from the category of “every  judge”  within  the  meaning  of  paragraph-2  (ibid). However,  it  is  necessary  to  state  and  clarify  here  that  in such eventuality, for claiming right to pension a retired judge of  the  High  Court  “additional  judge”  will  also  have  to  have minimum five years actual service to this credit.”

23.    On  Court  query,  learned  Attorney  General  informed that none of the Judges of the Lahore High Court whose seniority is a point in issue in this case has filed any representation qua his seniority.

24.    Mr.  Zakar  ur  Rehman  Awan,  petitioner’s  learned counsel in his right of reply submitted that the practice of treating seniority  of  Judges  from  the  date  they  were  appointed  as Additional  Judges  is  not  a  Constitutional  /  legal  convention  and, therefore, cannot be sanctified by this Court, because of following reasons:-

“1.  While the practice under question may no doubt have been  consistently followed  over  a  long  period  of  time, it  is  well-settled  that  mere  practice  cannot automatically  acquire  the  status  of  “Constitutional convention” unless some other requirements are met.

2.  It  cannot  truly  be  said  that  the  Chief  Justice  acts deliberately  when  he  treats  a  Judge’s  date  of appointment  as  Additional  Judge  to  be  the  starting point  for  purposes  of  determining  inter  se  seniority  of High Court Judges. There may in fact be no element of “deliberation” at all in his determination.

3.  Additionally,  given  the  fact  that  neither  the Constitution  has  fixed  any  rules  for  determination  of inter  se  seniority  of  High  Court  Judges,  nor  the legislature  has  sought  to  lay  down  criteria  for  the same, it cannot be said that the Chief Justice acts “in accordance  to  a  rule”  when  he  endeavours  to  make such  a  determination.  As  has  already  been established, the existence of “obligations” and “rules” lies at the very heart of determining  whether or not a practice is in fact a “Constitutional convention”.

4.  Even if the Chief Justice, in fixing inter se seniority in the  manner  that  he  does,  feels  bound  by  a  rule  not laid down by the Constitution or the legislature, but by general principles of equity, there must be some good reason behind the rule. In other words, there must be some  good  reason  that  compels  the  Chief  Justice  to treat  the  date  of  appointment  as  Additional  Judge  to be the starting point for purposes of determining inter se  seniority  of  High  Court  Judges,  rather  than  the date of  appointment as (permanent) Judge. If there is no good reason at  all, then the practice in question is merely  an  anomalous/erroneous  application  of  a mistaken  ‘rule”,  not  worthy  of  being  deemed  a “Constitutional convention”.

25.    We  have  heard  learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner  and learned Attorney General for Pakistan.

26.     The  question inter  alia  as  to  from  which  date  the seniority  of  a  Judge  appointed  under  Article  193  of  the Constitution  of  Islamic  Republic  of  Pakistan  should be reckoned i.e.  from  the  date  of  his  initial  appointment  as  Additional  Judge under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution or from  the  date  of  his appointment  under  Article  193  of  the  Constitution,  would of necessity  require  reference  to  both  these  provisions,  which  are  as under:-

“193. [(1)  The  Chief  Justice  and each  of  other  Judges  of  a  High Court  shall  be  appointed  by  the President  in  accordance  with Article 175A.]

(2)  A  person  shall  not  be appointed a Judge of a High Court unless he  is a citizen of Pakistan, is not less than [forty-five] years of age, and—

(a)  he  has  for  a  period  of,  or for  periods  aggregating,  not  less than  ten  years  been  an  advocate of  a  High  Court  (including  a  High Court which existed in Pakistan at any  time before  the  commencing day);or

(b)  he is, and has for a period of not less  than ten years been, a member  of  a  civil  service prescribed  by  law  for  the purposes  of  this  paragraph,  and has, for a period of not less  than three  years,  served  as  or  exercised the  functions  of  a District Judge in Pakistan; or

 (c)  he has, for a period of  not less  than  ten  years,  held  a

197. − At any time when—

(a)  the  office  of  a  Judge  of  a High Court is vacant; or

(b)  a  Judge  of  a  High  Court  is absent  or  is  unable  to  perform  the functions  of  his  office  due  to  any other cause; or

(c)  for  any  reason  it  is necessary to increase the number of Judges  of  a  High  Court,  the President  may,  in  the  manner provided in clause (1) of Article 193, appoint  a  person  qualified  for appointment as a Judge of the High Court  to  be  Additional  Judge  of  the Court  for  such  period  as  the President  may  determine,  being  a period  not  exceeding  such  period,  if any, as may be prescribed by law.” judicial office in Pakistan.

Explanation.-  In  computing  the period during which  a person has been an advocate of a High Court or  held  judicial  office,  there  shall be  included  any  period  during which  he  has  held  judicial  office after  he  became  an  advocate  or, as  the  case  may  be,  the  period during  which  he  has  been  an advocate after having held judicial office.

(3)  In  this  Article,  “District Judge” means Judge of a principal civil court of original jurisdiction.

 27.    The  qualification  for  a  person  to  be  appointed  as Additional Judge is the same as provided under Article 193 of the Constitution because Article 197 provides that “the President may, in the manner provided in clause (1) of Article 193, appoint a person qualified  for  appointment  as  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court  to  be Additional Judge of the Court for such period as the President  may determine, being a period not exceeding such period, if any, as may be  prescribed  by  law.”  As  defined  under  Article  260(1)(c)  of  the Constitution,  a ‘Judge’ in  relation  to  a  High  Court  includes  the Chief Justice of the Court and also “a person who is an Additional Judge of the Court”. A similar oath is prescribed for both the offices in terms of Article 194 of the Constitution and both are “deemed to have  entered  upon  the  office”  on  the  day  on  which  they  make  the oath (Article  255(3). Thus  when  an  Additional  Judge  enters  upon the  office  having  taken  oath  in  terms  of  Article  194  of  the Constitution and is later appointed as a Judge (under Article 193), his service in the office continues, there is no break in service and, therefore, the period spent as Additional Judge has to be counted towards  his  seniority while computing  the  period  of  service  of  a permanent  Judge  in  the  High  Court. This  is  also  evident  from Article 177(2)(a) of the Constitution relatable to the appointment of a Judge of the Supreme Court, which provides as follows:-

“177(2)  A person shall not be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court unless he is a citizen of Pakistan and —

(a)  has for a period of, or for periods aggregating, not less than  five  years  been  a  judge  of  a  High  Court (including  a  High  Court  which  existed  in  Pakistan  at any  time  before  the  commencing  day)” (Emphasis  is supplied)

 28.    The expression  used  in  Article 177(2)(a)  “for  periods aggregating, not less than five years been a judge of a High Court” indicates  that  both  the  periods  i.e.  as  Additional  Judge  and  as Judge have to be counted for the requisite qualifying period of five years. It was precisely for this reason that this Court in the case of a challenge to the appointment of Mr. Justice Muhammad Gul as Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court  on  the  ground  that  he  had  not completed  the  requisite  service  of  five  years  as  Judge  of  the  High Court  in Ghulam  Jillani  Vs.  Mr.  Justice  Muhammad  Gul (1978 SCMR 110) held as under:-

“Mr.  Justice  Muhammad  Gul  was  thus  appointed  a Judge  of  the  High  Court  of  Pakistan  more  than  five  yeah before  his  elevation  to  this  Court  which  fulfilled  the requirement of Article 178(2) (a) but the petitioner contended that  it  was  necessary  that  he  should  have  functioned  as  a Judge  of  the  High  Court  for  five  years.  In  his  opinion  mere appointment  as  a  Judge  did  not  achieve  the  object underlying Article 178(2) (a) viz., experience of functioning as a  Judge  for  five  years  which  would  equip  sufficiently  a Judge of the High Court to be considered for elevation to the Supreme Curt.

The  phraseology  of  Article  178(2)  (a)  of  the  Interim Constitution  does  not  hear  out  the  intent  attributed  to  it  by the petitioner. The words used are ‘he has for a period of, or for periods aggregating not leas than five years been a Judge of  the  High  Court.  If  the  authors  of  the  Constitution  had  so intended they would have used some other words to Indicate that  not  only  has  he  held  the  Office  of  a  Judge  but  also functioned or worked as a judge.”

29.    This  view  has  been  reiterated  in  a  later  judgment reported  at Supreme  Court  Bar  Association  Vs.  Federation  of Pakistan (PLD 2002 SC 939) when the question of appointment of Mr.  Justice  Faqir  Muhammad  Khokhar  as  Judge  of  the  Supreme Court was raised before this Court and the Court held as follows:-

“The  precise  contention  is  that  having  not  performed judicial functions as  a Judge of the Lahore High Court for  a period of five years he was not, qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court and his appointment was also hit by the cardinal principle of natural justice ‘no one should be a judge in his own cause’ on account of the pivotal role of the incumbent of the office of Law Secretary in the process of the  Constitutional  appointments.  This  contention  too  is without  any  substance  as  it  is  incompatible  with  the provisions  of  Article  177  of  the  Constitution  and  ignores  the law  laid  down  by  this  Court  in  Malik  Ghulam  Jilani  v.  Mr. Justice  Muhammad  Gul  (1978  SCMR  110).  With  regard  to experience, Article 177 of the Constitution only provides that a  person  shall not  be  appointed  as  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme Court  unless  he  has  been  a  Judge  of  a  High  Court  for  a period  of  or  for  periods  aggregating  not  less than  five  years and does not prohibit appointment of a Judge of a High Court as  a Judge of the Supreme Court  who has not  worked  as  a Judge of the High Court for a period of five years. The disqualification  set  up  by  the  petitioners  cannot be read into Article 177 of the Constitution. Mr. Justice Faqir Muhammad  Khokhar  was  appointed  as  a  Judge  of  the Lahore High Court on 10th December, 1996 and as Secretary Law,  Justice  and  Human  Rights’  Division  on  1st  January, 2000.  Having held  the  office  as  a  Judge  of  the  Lahore  High Court  for  a  period  of  five  years  he  fulfilled  the  experience-related  Constitutional  requirement  on,  the  eve  of  his appointment  as  a  Judge  of  the  Supreme  Court.  Besides,  the issue  was  addressed  and  settled  in  the  case  of  Justice Muhammad  Gul  wherein  it  was  held  that  contention  that  a ‘person in order to be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the  Supreme  Court  must  have  had  experience  of functioning as  a  Judge  of  High  Court  for  five  years  was  not  correct.  In that  case  also  Mr.  Justice  Muhammad  Gul  was  Secretary, Ministry  of  Law  and  Parliamentary  Affairs,  Government  of Pakistan,  at  the  time  of  his  appointment  as  a  Judge  of  the Supreme Court and the appointment was challenged through a  writ  petition  under  Article  199  of  the  Constitution  on  the ground that he did not fulfill the requirement of Article 178(2) of  the  Interim  Constitution,  1972  that  a  person  shall  not  be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court unless he has for a period of or for periods aggregating not less than five years been  a  Judge  of  a  High  Court.  The  writ  petition  was dismissed  in  limine  by  a  Division  Bench  of  the  Peshawar High-Court  and  the  petition  for  special  leave  to  appeal  was dismissed  by  this  Court,  inter  alia,  with  the  following observations:–

“The  phraseology  of  Article  178(2)  of  the  Interim Constitution  does  not  bear  out the  intent  attributed to it by the petitioner. The words used are he has for a period of, or for periods aggregating not less than five  years  been  a  Judge  of  the  High  Court.  If  the authors  of  the  Constitution  had  so  intended  they would have used some other words to indicate  that not  only  has  he  held  the  office  of  a  Judge  but  also functioned or worked as a Judge.”

  Somewhat similar principle was laid in Hira Singh and others Vs. Jai Singh etc (AIR 1937 Allahabad 588) wherein at page 590 it is held as follows:-

“4.  All  that  Section  220(4)  requires  is  that  every  person appointed  to  be  a  Judge  of  a  High  Court  shall,  before  he enters  upon  his  office,  make  and  subscribe  before  the Governor  or  some  other  person  appointed  by  him  an  oath according  to  the  form  prescribed.  The  oath  is  necessary before  entering  upon  his  office  as  a  Judge.  As  already pointed out, Bajpai, J. entered upon his office as  a Judge of this  Court  long  ago  and  took  the  oath  which  was  then prescribed  under  Clause  3  of  our  Letters  Patent. The  mere fact that he has now been made a permanent Judge does not mean that he “enters upon his office” as a Judge of this Court afresh,  necessitating  a  fresh  oath  which  is  required  for  a person  who  enters  upon  his  office  for  the  first  time.  If  this were  not  the correct  interpretation,  then  the  result  would be that every time that  an  additional Judge’s term is extended, he  would  have  to  take  a  fresh  oath.  This  is  contrary  to  the established practice of this Court. It may also be pointed out that under Section 223 of the Act the powers of the Judges of a High Court in relation to the administration of justice in this Court  are  the  same  as  immediately  before  the commencement  of  Part  3  of  this  Act.”  (Emphasis  is supplied)

 30.    In Federation  of  Pakistan  Vs.  Sindh  High Court  Bar Association (PLD 2012 SC 1067), this Court held that notification for appointment as permanent Judge of the High Court shall have effect  from  an  earlier  date  when  four  other  Judges  were  notified.

The Court observed as follows:-

“Referring  to  the  arguments  of  Mr.  Makhdoom  Ali  Khan, Senior  Advocate  Supreme  Court,  we  may  further  add  here that  it  is  well  recognized  and  settled  principle  of  legal jurisprudence  that  if  an  illegal  action/wrong  is  struck  down by the Court, as a consequence, it is also to be ensured that no  undue  harm  is  caused  to  any  individual  due  to  such illegality/wrong  or  as  a  result  of  delay  in  the  redress  of  his grievance. It is for this reason that in number of judgments of the  apex  Court,  out  of  which  two  have  been  referred  to above,  in  service  matters,  concept  of  reinstatement  into service  with  original  seniority  and  back  benefits  has  been developed  and  followed  on  case  to  case  basis  to  give complete  relief  to  an  aggrieved  party. Following  the  same equitable  principle,  while  passing  our  short  order,  we  have specifically  mentioned  that  the  issuance  of  notification  for permanent  appointment  of  the  two  Judges  shall  have  its effect  from  17-9-2011  when  four  other  recommended  of  the Commission  in  the  same  batch  were  notified after  clearance by  the  Committee,  so  that  they  shall  have  their  respective seniority  and  all  other  benefits  as  permanent  judges  of  the High Court.” (Emphasis is supplied)

 31.    Similarly  in Application  by  Abdul  Rehman  Farooq Pirzada  regarding  pensionary  benefits  of  the  Judges  of  Superior Courts from the date of their respective retirements, irrespective of their  length  of  service  as  such  Judges (PLD  2013  SC  829),  this Court granted equal pensionary benefits to Additional Judges as it found  no  difference  between  the  two  as  defined  in  Article 260(1)(c)(b)  of  the  Constitution. We  find  that  even  in  service matters,  while  considering  the  seniority  of  civil  servants,  the seniority is reckoned from the date of initial appointment and not from the date of confirmation or regularization.

32.    There  is  force in  the argument of  learned  Attorney General  that  eversince  the  creation of  this  country,  the  practice has  been  to  reckon  the  seniority  from  the  date  of  initial appointment  as  Additional  Judge  of  the  High  Court.  The appointment of Mr. Justice Anwar ul Haq, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan is a case in point. He was appointed as an Additional Judge  of  the  West  Pakistan  High  Court  on  24.10.1959  and  was made  a  permanent  Judge  on  24.10.1962 whereas  the  other two Judges  of  the same  Court  namely  Mr.  Justice  Moulvi  Mushtaq Hussain and Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Iqbal were appointed as  permanent  Judges  directly  on  1.10.1962 which  is  prior  to  the date when Mr. Justice Anwar ul Haq was made permanent i.e. on 24.10.1962. However, he always ranked senior to both of them. He confirmed on Court query that there is  no contrary precedent. No wonder,  learned  Attorney  General  further  confirms, that  none  of the Judges whose seniority is a point in issue in the instant case of the Lahore High Court has made any representation with regard to their  seniority  as  Judge,  which  presently  has  been  determined from  the  date  of  their  initial  appointment  as  Additional  Judges of the  Lahore  High  Court. In  the  history  of  the  Lahore  High  Court (http://courtsofpakistan.wordpress.com/all–courts–of–pakistan/ lahore-high-court-history), it is recorded that:-

“On  10th  February  1985, the  Administration  Committee of the  High  Court  considered  the  recommendations  of  a  Sub-Committee  appointed  to  look  into  the  question  of  inter  se seniority of the Judges of the High Court and decided (i) that Judge who  was younger in age,  when the appointment  was made  in  the  same  batch,  whether  from  the  Bar  or  from  the Service;  (ii)  that  if  two  or  more  Judges  were  appointed  from the Service in the same batch, they would retain their Service seniority as existing on the day of their appointment and, (iii) that if two or more Judges were appointed from the Bar and from  the  Service  in  the  same  batch,  then  the  junior  Judge from the Service  would rank after the senior Judge from the service,  even  though  he  may  be  older  in  age  to  any  Judge appointed from the Bar.

In  1985,  one  of  the  Judges  who had  come  in  the  batch  in November,  1981,  and  had  claimed  seniority  over  three others,  attempted  to  settle  his  account  vis-a-vis  another brother  Judge  by  seating  himself  as  the  senior  Judge.  This resulted in an unhappy situation, on coming to know of it, the Chief  Justice, Mr.  Justice Javed  Ibqal, hurriedly  convened  a meeting  of  the  Administration  Committee  on  10th  February, 1985,  where  the  above  decision  regarding  seniority  was taken.  This  decision  required  confirmation  of  the  Full  Court. Apprehending unpleasantness  at  the  meeting  that  would  be held  for  the  purpose,  it  was  decided  that  views  of  all  the Judges  be  obtained  by  circulation.  On  receipt  of  the  views, the Chief Justice referred the matter to the Law Ministry. The Ministry  took  it  to  the  President, who  was  the  appointing authority  for  the  High  Court  Judges.  It  was  directed  by  the President that  an equitable principle consistently adopted in regard  to inter se seniority of Judges, appointed by  a single order,  was  that service  Judges  appointed with  that  of candidates  from  the  Bar,  the  Service  Judges  should  retain their existing seniority in the Department, regardless of their age,  which  of  course  would  be  determining factor  in  respect of  their  seniority  vis-a-vis  candidates  from  the  Bar.  While conveying  this  directive  of  the  President  to  the  High  Court, vide  letter  No.  12(5)/86-AII,  dated  20th  April,  1987,  the Ministry  asked  the  High  Court  to  revise  its  seniority  list accordingly  and  send  the  revised  list  to  the  Ministry  for onward  transmission  to  the  President’s  Secretariat  (Public), but this was never done and the further batch of Judges that came  in  July,  1983,  march,  1984,  and  October  1988,  had some  complaints  and  though  all  the  Judges  aggrieved  by their  incorrect  rankings  attempted  to  secure  justice,  all  the Chief  Justices,  one  after  the  other,  felt  paralysed  and avoided  to  take  a  decision.  The  oldest  High  Court  in  the country  could  not  find  a  Chief  Justice  brave  enough  to implement  the  President’s  letter,  or  have  the  matter  solved one way or the other.

The  above  President’s  ruling  is  clear  that  Judges  who  come in  one  batch,  should  first  be  ranked  in  order  of  seniority  by age.  The  next  question  as  to  how  a  Service  Judge  who  is junior  in  age  to  another  Service  Judge,  but  otherwise  senior to him in Service, is to be placed, has not been clearly stated is  the  senior  Service  Judge  to  be  taken  out  of  his  normal place  and  placed  one  position  ahead  of  the  junior  Service Judge,  or  the  junior  Service  Judge  to  be  taken  out  of  his normal  place  and  placed  one  position  below  the  senior Service  Judge.  Till  this  is  answered,  the  difficulty  will remain.”

33.    However,  notwithstanding  the  disconcerting  episode referred to above in the history of the Lahore High Court, the fact remained that by and large in all the High Courts of Pakistan the inter se seniority of Judges of the High Courts was determined with reference  to  the  order  /  date  of  their  initial  appointment  as Additional Judges  under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution.  On  a query  from  this  Court,  the  Registrar  of  the  Lahore  High  Court intimated  that  vide  notification  dated  4.8.1994,  following  20 persons  were  appointed  as  Additional  Judges  of  the  Lahore  High Court  under  Article  197  of  the  Constitution,  which  incidently included the author:-

1.    Ch. Khurshid Ahmad

Advocate, Faisalabad.

2.    Raja Abdul Aziz Bhatti,

Advocate, Rawalpindi

3.    Rao Naeem Hashim Khan

Advocate, Sahiwal

4.    Miss Fakhar-un-Nisa Begum

Advocate, Multan

5.    Mr. Arif Iqbal Bhatti

Advocate, Lahore

6.    Mr. Amir Alam Khan

President,  Lahore  High  Court  Bar Association, Lahore

7.    Mr. Tassaduq Hussain Jillani

Addl. Advocate General Punjab, Multan

8.    Miss Talat Yaqub

Advocate Lahore

9.    Mr. Mohammad Asif Jan

Advocate, Lahore

10.  Mr. Sharif Hussain Bokhari

Advocate Lahore

11.  Mrs. Nasira Javed Iqbal

Advocate Lahore

12.  Mr. Ahmad Saeed Awan

Advocate, Faisalabad

13.  Ch. Iftikhar Hussain

By Attorney General

Islamabad/Rawalpindi

14.  Mr. Javed Ahmad Butter

Advocate, Lahore

15.  Mr. Riaz Hussain

Advocate, Jampur

16.  Mr. Mohammad Aaqil Mirza

Advocate Lahore

17.  Mr. Karamat Nazir Bhindari

Advocate Lahore

18.  Rana Mohammad Arshad Khan

Addl. Advocate General Punjab

19.  Mr. Abdul Hafeez Cheema

District and Sessions Judge Lahore

20.  Ch. Mohammad Nasim

District & Sessions Judge, Bahawalpur

 34.  On 1st of  June,  1995,  following  11  out  of  20  Judges were  made  Judges  while  the  remaining in  the  same  batch continued to be Additional Judges:

1.    Mr. Justice Ch. Mushtaq Ahmed Khan

2.    Mr. Justice Raja Abdul Aziz Bhatti

3.    Mr. Justice Arif Iqbal Hussain Bhatti

4.    Mr. Justice Abdul Hafeez Cheema

5.    Mr. Justice Ch. Muhammad Naseem

6.    Mr. Justice Ch. Khurshid Ahmed

7.    Mr. Justice Ahmed Saeed Awan

8.    Mr. Justice Fakhur-un-Nisa Khokhar

9.    Mr. Justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry

10.  Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani

11.  Mr. Justice Muhammad Aqil Mirza

35.  For  a  short  period,  by  order  of  the  then  Chief  Justice of the Lahore High Court, the afore-mentioned Judges were made senior to those of the same batch who continued to be Additional Judges.  However,  subsequently  on  19th  of  March,  1996, when those Additional  Judges  were made  Judges  of  the  Lahore  High Court  under  Article  193  of  the  Constitution,  the  seniority  list  of those who were made Judges earlier on vide notification dated 1st of  June,  1995  was  altered  and  the  seniority  was  re-determined with  effect  from  the  date  when they  were  appointed  as  Additional Judges.

36.    Similarly  on  a  query  from  this  Court,  the  Registrar of the  Peshawar  High  Court  confirmed this  practice.  Vide  his  letter dated  13.5.2014  addressed  to  the  Registrar  of  this  Court,  he  has referred to various instances in which this principle was followed.

The letter reads as follows:-

  “Subject:  SENIORITY OF HON’BLE JUDGES

Dear Sir,

Apropos  telephonic  ………………….,  the  following instances have been found:-

1.  In  the  year  1994,  the  following  three  Hon’ble Judges  were  elevated  vide  notification  dated  5.6.1994  as Additional Judges of this Court;

  i.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Jawaid  Nawaz  Khan Gandapur  (From  Cadre,  Date  of  Birth 17.1.1943)

 ii.  Hon’ble  Justice  Mrs.  Khalida  Rachid  (From cadre, Date of Birth 25.09.1949)

iii.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Nasir-ul-Mulk  (From  Bar, Date of Birth 17.08.1950)

Accordingly  seniority  list  was  issued  in  the  same order.

Subsequently  vide  notification  dated  31.5.1995,

Hon’ble,  Justice  Mrs.  Khalida  Rachid  and  Mr.  Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk  were  confirmed  while  the  tenure  of  Hon’ble  Mr. Justice Jawaid Nawaz Khan Gandapur as Additional Judge was  extended  vide  notification dated 31.5.1995.  On  this  a fresh  seniority  list  was  issued  on  18.10.1995  in  which Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Jawaid  Nawaz  Khan  Gandapur  was placed junior to the other two Hon’ble Judges. Vide  notification  dated  30.9.1996  the  appointment  of Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Jawaid  Nawaz  Khan  Gandapur  was regularized,  therefore,  a  fresh  seniority  list  was  issued  on 8.10.1996 in which again Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jawaid Nawaz Khan  Gandapur  was  placed  senior  to  the other  two  Hon’ble Judges on the basis of age.

 2.  The  second  instance  is  that  vide  No.  F.8(1)/97-AII dated  1.2.1997,  the  following  Hon’ble  Judges  were elevated:-

i.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Malik  Hamid  Saeed  (From Bar, Date of Birth 4.4.1943)

ii.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Shah  Jehan  Khan  (From Bar, dated 3.4.1950)

iii.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice Tariq  Pervez  Khan  (From Bar, date of Birth 15.2.1948)

 The then Hon’ble Chief Justice of this Court vide letter dated  24.2.1997 brought  to  the  notice  of  Minister  of  Law, Justice  and  Parliamentary  Affairs  that  since  Hon’ble  Mr. Justice  Tariq  Pervez  Khan  was  elder  than  Hon’ble  Mr. Justice  shah  Jehan  Khan,  therefore,  the  seniority  was  re-determined  vide  notification  dated  17.3.1997  and  Hon’ble Mr.  Justice  Tariq  Pervez  Khan  was  placed  senior  to  Mr. Justice Shah Jehan Khan.

3.  The  third  instance  is  that  vide  notification  dated 13.12.2007 the following Hon’ble Judges were elevated:-

i.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Shaji  Rehman  Khan  (From Cadre, Date of Birth 14.08.1949)

ii.  Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ghulam Mohayuddin Malik (From Cadre, Date of Birth 13.01.1950)

iii.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Syed  Yahya  Zahid  Gillani (From Cadre, Date of Birth 27.04.1953)

 iv.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Ziauddin  Khattak  (From Cadre, Date of Birth 19.02.1995)

v.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice  Syed  Mussaddiq  Hussain Gillani (From Cadre, Date of Birth 01.01.1953)

vi.  Hon’ble  Mr.  Justice Muhammad  Alam  Khan (From Bar, Date of Birth 15.01.1949)

 Subsequently,  another  seniority  list  was  issued  on 18.8.2008 wherein Mr. Justice Muhammad Alam Khan being elder than the other Hon’ble Judges of his batch was placed senior to them.”

 37.    Vide notification dated 1.2.1997 following Judges were appointed  as  Additional  Judges  of  the  Peshawar  High  Court  and the inter se seniority mentioned in the notification dated 1.2.1997 was as under:-

1.  Malik Hamid Saeed

2.  Shah Jehan Khan

3.  Tariq Pervez

38.    However,  the  Hon’ble  Chief  Justice  of  Peshawar  High Court sent a letter on 24.2.1997 to the then Secretary Law with a request that  their inter  se seniority  be  determined  on  the  basis  of age  since  all  the  afore-referred  Judges  were  appointed  the  same day. The letter reads as follows:-

  “My dear Law Secretary,

Please  refer  to  your  Notification  No.  F.8(1)/97-AII dated  Ist  February,  1997  whereby  Mr.  Justice Malik  Hamid Saeed,  Mr.  Justice  Shah  Jehan  Khan  and  Mr.  Justice  Tariq Pervez were appointed as additional Judges of this Court.

The  inter  se  seniority  mentioned  in  the  Notification  is as under:

1.  Malik Hamid Saeed

2.  Shah Jehan Khan

3.  Tariq Pervez

The  date of  birth  of  the  3  additional  Judges  is  as under:-

1.  Mr. Justice Malik Hamid Saeed    4.4.1943

2.  Mr. Justice Shah Jehan Khan    3.4.1950

3.  Mr. Justice Tariq Pervez      15.2.1948

 All the 3 additional Judges had taken oath of office on one  and  the  same  day,  namely,  Ist  of  February,  1997. Therefore,  Mr.  Justice  Tariq  Pervez  being  elder  in  age  is  to rank  senior  to  Mr.  Justice  Shah  Jehan  Khan.  Their  inter  se seniority may, therefore, be re-determined accordingly.”

39.    The  Judicial  Commission  of  Pakistan  in  its  meeting dated  13.02.2014 while  deciding  the  question  of  confirmation  of Additional  Judges  /  their  appointment  as  Judges  followed  this practice  and  held  that  the inter  se  seniority  of  Judges  shall  be reckoned  from  the  date  of  their  initial  appointment  as  Additional Judges.  A  reference  to  the  minutes  of  the  said  meeting  would  be pertinent in this regard, which record as under:-

“2.  The  Secretary  informed  that  Chief  Justice,  Peshawar High Court has recommended the names of the two batches of Additional Judges for confirmation. The Additional Judges in  the  first  batch  were  initially  appointed  in  2012  but  their tenure  was  extended  for  another  year,  whereas  the Additional  Judges  in  the  second  batch  were  appointed  in March  2013  and  therefore  are  due  for  confirmation  or otherwise. The names are:-

First Batch

  (1)  Mrs. Irshad Qaiser

  (2)  Mr.Shah Jehan Khan Akhunzada

  (3)  Mr. Asadullah Khan Chamkani

  (4)  Mr. Roohul Amin Khan

Second Batch

  (5)  Syed Afsar Shah

  (6)  Mr. Muhammad Daud Khan

  (7)  Mr. Abdul Latif Khan

  (8)  Malik Manzoor Hussain

  (9)  Mr. Ikramullah Khan

  (10)  Ms. Musarrat Hilali

  (11)  Mr. Lal Jan Khattak

 3.  The  Chairman  invited  the  Chief  Justice,  Peshawar High  Court  to  brief  the  members  about  the  nominations initiated by him. The Chief Justice responded that he has, in consultation  with  the  Senior  Puisne  Judge,  considered  and initiated  simultaneously  the  names of  both  the  batches  of Additional Judges for confirmation, so as to ensure that inter se  seniority  of  Additional  Judges in  the  two  batches  is  not disturbed.  The  Senior  Puisne  Judge  endorsed  the  views  of the Chief Justice, Peshawar High Court.”

 40.    The  Commission  ultimately  decided  to  confirm Additional Judges as Judges in terms as follows:-

“5.  The Commission  had  in-depth discussions  about  the professional  caliber,  legal  acumen,  judicial  skills,  quality  / quantum of judgments, commitment / devotion to duty of the Additional Judges, and decided by consensus as follows:

A.  The Additional Judges at serial 1 to 4 and 7 to 11 are recommended for confirmation.

B.  The  Additional  Judges  at  serial  No.  5  &  6  are recommended  for  extension  for  one  year  with  effect from the date of expiry of their tenure.

C.  The  seniority  of  the  Additional  Judges  in  the  two batches shall be reckoned from the date of their initial appointment, and so reflected in the notification.”

 41.    There  is  yet  another  letter  dated  25.7.2012 which the Registrar  of  the  Peshawar  High  Court,  Peshawar  had  sent  to  the Secretary  Law,  Government  of  Pakistan  requesting  that  the seniority  of  Additional  Judges appointed  the  same  day  should  be determined on the basis of age and not the length of their practice at the Bar. The letter reads as follows:-

“Subject:  SENIORITY  AMONG  THE  JUDGES  OF PESHAWAR HIGH COURT

 Dear Madam,

 The  President  of  Pakistan  vide  Notification  No.  F.7 (1)/2012-AII  dated  19/07/2012  has  appointed  four  new additional judges of this court in the sequence as under:

1.  Mrs. Irshad Qaiser

2.  Mr. Shah Jehan Khan Akhunzada

3.  Mr. Rooh ul Amin Khan

4.  Mr. Asadullah Khan Chamkani

I  am  directed  to  say  that  appointment  of  a  judge  or additional  judge  of  the  High  Court,  being  a  Constitutional post,  is  an  elevation  and  not  promotion,  therefore,  length  of service  or  practice  as  an  advocate  at  the  Bar  is  not  the criteria  to  be  taken  as  yardstick  for  fixing  seniority  among them  when  some  of  the  judges  are  from  service  and  some from  the  Bar.  The  reasonable  criteria  would be  that  a  judge senior  in  age  has  to  be  considered  senior  to  younger  one in the  above  mentioned  circumstances.  However,  judges  from service  when are elevated to the bench, then of course their seniority  is  to  be  reckoned  on  the  basis  of  length  of continuous service.

 Keeping  in  view  the  practice  prevailing  in  this  court and the  letter  of  Mr.  Justice  Irshad  Hassan  Khan  the  then Federal  Secretary  Law  bearing  No.  126  of  the  year  1986 Secretary  (L)  dated  12/06/1986,  the  seniority  of  the  above mentioned additional judges would be as under:-

S # Name  of  Hon’ble

Judges

From Date  of

Birth

Mr.  Justice  Asadullah  Khan Chamkani

Bar 21/03/1954
Mrs.  Justice  Irshad

Qaiser

Service   16/06/1954
Mr.  Justice  Shah  Jehan

Khan Akhunzada

Service 21/01/1957

 

Mr.  Justice  Rooh-ul-Amin Khan Bar 01/04/1961

 

I  am,  therefore,  to  request  you  to  refix  the  seniority and  also  inform  this  court  if  any  other  uniform  policy  has been  adopted  for  the  determination  of  seniority  among  the judges of the High Court.”

42.    It appears that the then Secretary Law, Government of Pakistan  was  conscious  of  this  long  standing  practice  and  in response  to  a  query  from  the  High  Courts  in  this  context, addressed  letters  to  Hon’ble  Chief  Justices  of  all  the  High  Courts and  apprised  them  of  this  long  standing  practice. The  letter addressed  to  the  Chief  Justice  of  Sindh  High  Court  reads  as follows:-

“No.F.12(5)186-AII,                                              Dated 20.4.1987

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

(JUSTICE DIVISION)

Subject:  SENIORITY LIST OF HIGH COURT JUDGES

My dear Chief Justice,

Please  refer  to  the  correspondence resting  with  High  Court  of  Sindh letter  No.  Gaz-IV,  Z.14(i)  dated  the  30th March,  1987,  on  the subject noted above.

(2)  An  equitable  principle  consistently  adopted  in  this  regard  is that  Judges  whose  appointments  are  made  by  a  single  order,  take seniority according to  age. If the appointment of two or more service candidates is also simultaneously made with that of candidate from the  Bar,  the  service  Judges  will  retain  their  existing  seniority  in  the department  regardless  of  their  age  which  of  course  would  be  the determining  factor  in  respect  of  their  seniority  vis-à-vis  candidates from the Bar. This principle has the approval of the President.

(3)  I  am  to  request  you  to  please  confirm whether  the  seniority list of Sindh High Court Judges has been prepared in the light of the above principle.

With kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

-sd-

(Irshad Hasan Khan)”

43.    It  would  be  pertinent  to  refer  to  yet  another  letter dated 6.8.1997 from  Registrar  of  the  High  Court  of  Balochistan, Quetta,  addressed  to  the  Registrar  of  the  High  Court  of  Sindh, Karachi, which reads as follows:-

“With  reference  to  your  letter  No.  GAZ/IV.8.26  (Seniority) dated  31.7.1997,  on  the  subject  captioned  above,  it  is submitted  that  this  Court  has  been  following  the  decision  of Lahore  High  Court,  on  the  question  of  interse  seniority  of Judges who are elevated to the Bench on the same day that “a  Judge  older  in  age  shall  rank  senior  to  a  Judge  who  is younger  in  age  when  an appointment  is  made  in  the  same batch  whether  from  the  Bar  or  from  the  Services”.  On  this formula,  the  question  of  interse  seniority  of  Hon’ble  Mr. Justice  (Retd)  Mir  Hazar  Khan  Khoso  and  Mr.  Justice Munawar  Ahmed  Mirza,  was  determined.  It  may  further  be pointed  out  that  in  the  meeting  of  Chief Justices’  Committee held  on  31st October,  1996  at  Murree,  it  was  decided  that “such disputes relating to seniority of Judges can be resolved by the Chief Justices of the concerned High Courts.”

44.    On  a  query  from  this  Court  about  the  principle  being followed  in  determining  the inter  se seniority  of  Judges  appointed as Additional Judges (under Article 197) and made Judges (under Article 193) on later dates, the Hon’ble  Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court vide his letter dated 16.5.2014 has candidly stated that barring one exception, the seniority lists of the Judges of the High Court  of  Sindh, issued  from  time  to  time, seem  to  be  consistent with  the  criteria  laid  in  the  aforesaid  order  (short  order  of  this Court dated 6.5.2014 in the instant case).(Emphasis is supplied) The letter reads as follows:-

“Karachi, dated: 16th May, 2014

 Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani,

Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan

Supreme Court Building,

Dear Sir,

  As directed by your Lordship, I am enclosing herewith documents  pertaining  to  the  seniority  of  the  High  Court Judges from our record as per the list attached hereto.

  Amongst  the  documents,  the  two  letters  at  Sr.  No.  1 and  2  are self-explanatory,  whereas  reading  of  the  second para  at  page-55  of  the  Minutes  of  the  meeting, listed  at  Sr. No.  3,  would  convey  the  gist  of  the  decision  as  contained therein.  However,  the  dissenting  note  attached  to  the  said Minutes  seems  to  be  more  in  line  with  the  order  dated 06.05.2014, authored by your Lordship in C.P. No. 09/2014.

  The  other documents  are  seniority  lists  of  the  Judges of  the  High  Court  of  Sindh,  issued  from  time  to  time,  which seem  to  be  consistent  with  the  criteria  laid  down  in  the aforesaid order.” (Emphasis is supplied)

 I remain

 Yours faithfully,

-sd-

(Maqbool Baqar)

Chief Justice

Sindh High Court”

45.    The only exception to which the learned Chief Justice of  the  Sindh  High  Court  has  alluded  to is  the  decision  of  the Administration Committee  dated  12.11.1997. The reasoning  given by the Committee was:-

“In  this  background,  it  was  manifest  that  when  two  sets  of persons  were  separately  appointed,  one  as  regular  Judges under Article 193 and the other  as Additional Judges under Article  197,  such  appointments  could  not  be  equated  for determination  of  seniority,  more  so  when  the  appointments were not in the same batch. In this context it was obvious to the  Committee  that  an  Additional  Judge,  if  and  when subsequently appointed as a Judge, would rank as a Judge from  the  date  of  his  appointment  and  from  the  date  he  took oath  of  his office  as  such  Judge  and  the appointment as Judge could not be related back to the point of time when his appointment  as  Additional  Judge  or administration  of  oath as  such  Additional  Judge  came  about. The  conclusion, therefore, was that Mr. Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, who was  appointed  independently  under  a  notification pursuant to  Article  193,  as  a  Judge,  was  senior  to  those  who  were appointed  on  the  same  date  through  a  separate  notification under Article 197, as Additional Judges.”

46.    In  the  light of  the  above,  the  Committee determined the inter se seniority of 5 Judges in terms as under:-

  1)  Justice Nazir Hussain Siddiqui

  2)  Justice Mrs. Majida Rizvi

  3)  Justice Ali Mohammad Baloch

  4)  Justice Deedar Hussain Shah

  5)  Justice Rana Bhagwandas

47.    The reasoning given by the Administration Committee, we  may  observe  with  respect,  is  against  the  Constitutional  intent and the law declared. Because, first, it does not take into account Article  260(1)(c)  wherein  a  Judge  in  relation  to  a  High  Court includes  an  Additional  Judge. Second,  when  an  Additional  Judge is  made  a  Judge  (permanent)  and  takes  fresh  oath,  it  does  not mean that he has entered the office of a Judge freshly.  Third, the decision of the Administration Committee is not in accord with the law laid  down  in Ghulam  Jillani  Vs.  Mr.  Justice  Muhammad  Gul (1978 SCMR 110) & Supreme Court Bar Association Vs. Federation of  Pakistan  (PLD  2002  SC  939,  Justice  Faqir  Muhammad Khokhar’s case) wherein the service as Additional Judge was treated at  par  with service  as  Judge  of  the  High  Court  in  view  of  Article 177(2)(a)  which  lays  down  qualifying  period for  a  Judge  of  the Supreme Court of at-least 5 years as Additional Judge or Judge of the High Court “for periods aggregating, not less than five years”.

48.    It  may  be  pointed  out  that  an Hon’ble  Judge  of  the Sindh  High  Court  had  given  a  dissenting  opinion  (Mr.  Justice Amanullah  Abbasi).  This  appears  to  be  in  consonance  with Constitutional  provisions  and  practice  being  followed.  The dissenting opinion was:-

“The meeting of special administrative committee was held on 12.11.1997. I had agreed to the minutes which were to  be  recorded.  After  the  meeting  I  reconsidered  the  entire matter  again  and  I  feel  that  there  are  some  areas  of difficulty.

The  first  area  of difficulty  is  that  the  honorable Chief Justices in  the  meeting  held  on  31st   August  1996  had decided that the disputes relating to seniority of Judges can be  resolved  by  the  chief  justices  of  the  concerned  High Courts.  The  then  chief  justice  of  High  Court of  Sindh  Mr. Justice Mamoon Qazi  was present in the same meeting and in  pursuance of  decision he  decided  the  dispute  of  seniority by his order dated 1.11.97. The Para No. 7 of his order is as under:-

“Consequently,  unless  the  full  court  before  which  the matter is still pending final decision or the appointing authority  as  the  case  may  be,  comes  to  a  different conclusion,  Justice  Ms.  Majda  Rizvi, Mr.  Justice  Ali Muhammad  Balouch,  Mr.  Justice  Deedar  Hussain Shah  and  Mr.  Justice  Rana  Bhagwandas  are  to  be considered  senior  to  Mr.  Justice  Nazim  Hussain Siddiqi.”

 The then honorable Chief Justice has left it for the full court  to  come  to  different  conclusion  and  till full  court  takes contrary view, the order of the then Chief Justice will have to prevail.  It  has not  lapsed  as  full  court  has  not  taken  a contrary  decision.  The  grievance  of  Mr.  Justice  Nazim Hussain may be placed before full court because this is one way  where  by  contrary  decision  can  be  arrived  at.  In  case full court agrees with the order of the then Chief Justice then the matter will stand resolved in accordance with decision of Chief Justices dated 31.8.1996.

 The  2nd era  of  difficulty  relates  to  the  dispute  of seniority,  Mr.  Justice  Nazim  Hussain  was  appointed  as permanent  Judge  by  notification dated  5.6.1994.  The  other honorable  Judges  who  are  claiming  to  be  senior  to  Mr. Justice  Nazim  Hussain  were  also  appointed  on  the  same date  that  is  5.6.1994  as  additional  Judges.  Mr.  Justice Nazim  Hussain  claims  seniority  on  the  ground  that  he  was appointed  as  permanent  Judge  under  Article  193  of  the Constitution  and  other  honorable  Judges  were  appointed  as additional  Judges under  article  197,  his  case  was  separate and different. As against this the case of honorable Judges is that they and Mr. Justice Nazim Hussain were appointed on the same date, regularized on the same date from the date of initial  appointment  and  took  oath  on  same  date,  therefore, the  principal  mentioned  in  letter  of Ministry of  Justice  and Parliamentary  Affairs  dated  20.4.1987  be  followed  as according  to  this  principle senior  in  age  will  become  senior.

At  this  stage  I  find  it  necessary  to  reproduce  relevant portions of notifications dated 30.9.1996.

 1st Notification

                  “The  President  is  pleased  to  regularize  the appointment  of  Mr.  Justice  Nazim  Hussain Siddiqi  Judge  of the High Court of Sindh from the date of his appointment as such”

 2nd Notification

                “The  President  is  pleased  to  regularize  the appointment  of  following  Judges  of  the  High  Court  of  Sindh as  additional  Judges  and  appoint them  Judges  of  the  said Court  from  the  date  of  their  appointment  as  additional Judges.

 The  2nd  Notification  includes  names  of  Justice  Ms. Majda Rizvi, Mr. Justice Ali Muhammad Balouch, Mr. Justice Deedar  Hussain  Shah  and  Mr.  Justice  Rana  Bhagwandas. They  have  been  appointed  as  Judges  from  the  date  of appointment as additional Judges that is 5.6.1994. Therefore the  initial  appointment  of  Mr.  Justice  Nazim  Hussain  as Judge and the other honorable Judges is on the same date. The  other  honorable Judges have been  made  Judges  from the  date  of  their  initial  appointment.  Although  there  are separate  notifications  but  one  seniority  list  has  to  be maintained. Therefore  the  principle of  senior  in  age  to  be senior is to be followed.

 On  administrative  side  we  cannot  say  that  2nd notification is incorrect. There is no bar in Constitution which restricts the power of President to give retrospective effect to appointment so far as the notification remains in field. It has to  be  followed  and  decision  will  have  to  be  taken  in accordance  with  the  rights  conferred  by  the  notification. Apart  from  this  the  two  notifications  were  issued  in pursuance of decision of the Supreme Court reported in PLD 1996  SC  324.  This  fact  is  also  mentioned  in  the  two notifications mentioned above.”

49.    An examination of the practices / precedents from the High  Courts in  determining  the inter  se  seniority  of  Judges (appointed  under  Article  193  and  197  of  the  Constitution) would indicate that in all cases seniority was determined with effect from the  date  of  the  initial  appointment  as  Additional  Judges  and in accordance  with  the  principle  laid  down  in  the  letter  dated 20.4.1987  issued  by  the  Ministry  of  Justice  and  Parliamentary Affairs.  The solitary  exception from  Sindh  would  not  offset  the effect of the consistent practice being followed by the High Courts in  this  regard  and  the  said  practice may  qualify  to  be  called  a Constitutional  convention.  Moreover  the  order  of  the Administration  Committee  of  the  Sindh  High  Court  was  an administrative  order and  does  not  have even  the  trappings  of  a judicial  order. An administrative  decision  would  not  assume  the character of a precedent to be followed but a judicial decision may assume  such  a  character. To appreciate  the  distinction (between an administrative and judicial decision), a reference may be made to a judgment of Indian Supreme Court reported as Jaswant Sugar Mills Vs. Lakshmi Chand (AIR 1963 SC 677) wherein while defining a judicial decision, it was held:-

  “A judicial decision is not always the act of a judge or a tribunal invested with power to determine questions of law or  fact:  it  must  however  be  the  act  of  a  body  or  authority invested  by  law  with  authority  to  determine  questions  of disputes affecting the  rights  of  citizens  and  under  a  duty  to act  judicially.  A  judicial  decision  always  postulates  the existence  of  a  duty  laid  upon  the  authority  to  act  judicially. Administrative  authorities  are  often  invested  with  authority or  power  to  determine  questions,  which  affect  the  rights  of citizens.  The  authority  may  have  to  invite  objections to  the course of action proposed by him, he may be under a duty to hear the objectors, and his decision may seriously affect the rights  of  citizens  but  unless  in  arriving  at  his  decision  he  is required  to  act  judicially, his  decision  will  be  executive  or administrative.  Legal  authority  to  determine  questions affecting  the  rights  of  citizens,  does  not  make  the determination  judicial;  it  is  the duty  to  act  judicially  which invests  it  with  that  character.  What  distinguishes  an  act judicial  from  administrative  is  therefore  the  duty  imposed upon  the  authority  to  act  judicially. AIR  1950  SC  222,  Rel. on.

  To  make  a  decision  or  an  act  judicial,  the  following criteria must be satisfied:

(1)  it  is  in  substance  a  determination  upon investigation  of  a  question  by  the  application  of  objective standards  to  facts  found  in  the  light  of  pre-existing  legal rules;

 (2)  it  declares  rights  or  imposes  upon  parties obligations affecting their civil rights; and

 (3)  that  the  investigation  is  subject  to  certain procedural  attributes  contemplating  an  opportunity  of presenting  its  case  to  a  party,  ascertainment  of  facts  by means of evidence if a dispute be on question of fact,  and if the dispute be on question of law on the presentation of legal argument,  and  a  decision  resulting  in  the  disposal  of  the matter  on  findings  based  upon  those  questions  of  law  and fact.”

 50.    Can  the  consistent  practice  being  followed  in determining  the  inter  se  seniority  of  Judges  be  called  a Constitutional  convention?  The  question  as  to  what  is  a Constitutional convention has been a subject of judicial debate in several  jurisdictions.  In  a  case decided  by  the  Supreme  Court  of Canada  reported  at  [1981]  2  S.C.R.  753,  the  Court  while elaborating  the  concept  of  convention  observed  that  requirements for establishing a convention are:-

“2. Requirements for establishing a convention The  requirements  for  establishing  a  convention bear some resemblance with those which apply to  customary  law.  Precedents  and  usage  are necessary  but  do  not  suffice.  They  must  be normative.  We  adopt  the  following  passage  of Sir  W.  Ivor  Jennings,  The  Law  and  the Constitution (5th ed., 1959) at p.136:

 We  have  to  ask  ourselves  three questions:  first,  what  are  the precedents;  secondly,  did  the actors  in  the  precedents  believe that  they  were  bound  by  a  rule; and  thirdly,  is  there  a  reason  for the rule? A single precedent  with  a good  reason  may  be  enough  to establish the rule. A whole string of precedents  without  such  a  reason will  be  of  no  avail, unless  it  is perfectly  certain  that  the  persons concerned regarded them as bound by it.”

 51.    The  Court  referred  to  Professor  W.  Hogg (Constitutional  Law  of  Canada,  1977),  who  while  explaining  the concept of Constitutional convention, said:-

“Conventions are  rules  of  the  constitution  which  are not  enforced by  the law  courts.  Because  they  are  not enforced by the law courts they  are best regarded  as non-legal  rules,  but  because  they  do  in  fact  regulate the  working  of  the  constitution  they  are  an  important concern of the constitutional lawyer. What conventions do is to prescribe the way in which legal powers shall be  exercised.  Some  conventions  have  the  effect  of transferring  effective  power  from  the  legal  holder  to another  official  or  institution.  Other  conventions  limit an  apparently  broad  legal  power,  or  even  prescribe that a legal power shall not be exercised at all. If  a  convention  is  disobeyed  by  an  official,  then  it  is common, especially in the United Kingdom, to describe the official’s act or omission as “unconstitutional”. But this use of the term unconstitutional must be carefully distinguished  from  the  case  where  a  legal  rule of  the constitution  has  been  disobeyed.  Where unconstitutionally  springs  from  a  breach  of  law,  the purported  act  is  normally  a  nullity  and  there  is  a remedy  available  in  the  courts.  But  where “unconstitutionality”  springs  merely  from  a  breach  of convention, no breach of he law has occurred  and no legal  remedy  will  be  available.  If  a court  did  give  a remedy  for  a  breach  of  convention,  for  example,  by declaring invalid a statute enacted for Canada by the United Kingdom Parliament without Canada’s request or  consent,  or  by  ordering  an  unwilling  Governor General  to  give  his  assent  to  a  bill  enacted  by  both houses of Parliament,  then  we  would have  to  change our language  and  describe  the  rule  which  used  to  be thought  of  as  a  convention  as  a  rule  of  the  common law. In other words a judicial decision could have the effect  of  transforming  a  conventional  rule  into  a  legal rule.  A  convention may  also  be  transformed  into  law by being enacted as a statute.”

52.    In  a  book  edited  by  Dawn  Oliver  and  Carlo  Fusaro titled as ‘How Constitutions Change’, the authors have adverted to the  conventions  in  Constitutional  law  in  Canada  and  said  as under:-

“The  Constitution  of  Canada  also  includes  informal principles.  These  are  Constitutional  conventions  that  inform the way in which the formal Constitutional powers are to be exercises.  A  well  established  institution  in  the  UK, conventions guide most government behaviour and detail the aspects of governance that  the  written Constitution does not address.  They  are  not  legally  binding  and  hence,  by definition,  cannot  form  part  of  the  formal  Constitution.  That said,  they  enjoy  de  facto  Constitutional  supremacy  because the  political  culture  in  Canada  has  rendered  them  binding. Moreover,  while  a  court  will  not  enforce  conventions,  it  also will  not  shy  away  from  considering  them  in  interpreting formal  principles.  Finally,  the  court  may  transform  a convention into a common law rule.

It  is  difficult  to  account  for  the  creation  of Constitutional  conventions.  Indeed,  by  virtue  of  their informality, they require no set procedure to be followed prior to  their  recognition.  Generally,  conventions  come  into existence in two different ways; through practice over time or through  an  explicit  agreement  between  all  the  relevant actors.  For  conventions  that  come  about  through  practice, there is no established period of time that must pass before the practice obtains ‘convention’ status. Some scholars have argued  that  a  reliable  indicator  of  convention  status  is  the moral obligation that attaches itself to the practice over time.

For example, the fact that members of Parliament feel bound to follow the practice because they believe it is a principle of higher law, is evidence that the practice has in fact obtained that higher law status.”

 53.  The Canadian Supreme Court adopted the definition of constitutional  convention  propounded  by  the  Chief  Justice  of Manitoba, Freedman C.J.M. in the Manitoba Reference, supra, and at pp. 13-14, held as under:-

 “What  is  a  constitutional  convention?  There  is  a fairly  lengthy  literature  on  the  subject.  Although there  may  be  shades  of  difference  among  the constitutional  lawyers,  political  scientists,  and Judges  who  have  contributed  to  that  literature, the essential features of a convention may be set forth with some degree of confidence. Thus there is  general  agreement  that  a  convention  occupies a  position  somewhere  in  between  a  usage  or custom on the one hand and a constitutional law on  the  other.  There  is  general  agreement  that  if one  sought  to  fix  that  position  with  greater precision  he  would  place  convention  nearer  to law  than  to  usage  or  custom.  There  is  also general  agreement  that  “a  convention  is a  rule which is regarded as obligatory by the officials to whom  it  applies”.  Hogg,  Constitutional  Law  of Canada  (1977),  p.9.  There  is,  if  not  general agreement,  at  least  weighty  authority,  that  the sanction  for  breach  of  a  convention  will  be political rather than legal.  It  should  be  borne  in  mind  however  that,  while they  are  not  laws,  some  conventions  may  be more  important  than  some  laws.  Their importance  depends  on  that  of  the  value  or principle  which  they  are  meant  to  safeguard.

Also they form an integral part of the constitution and  of  the  constitutional  system.  They  come within the meaning of the word “Constitution” in the  preamble  of  the  British  North  America  Act, 1867.”

54.  The  mode  of  determining inter  se  seniority  of  High Court Judges has been consistent in all the four Provinces, barring one  time  deviation  when  the  Administration  Committee  of  Sindh High  Court  followed  a  different  course. It  is  normative  because  it has  been  found by  us to  be  more  in  accord  with  equity  and Constitutional  intent  reflected  in  various  provisions  of  the Constitution.  Thus  it  has  assumed  the  character  of  a Constitutional convention.

55.    For  what has  been  discussed  above,  this  petition  is dismissed. These are the detailed reasons of our short order dated 6.5.2014, which reads as follows:

“For  reasons  to  be  recorded  later  in  the  detailed judgment, we hold and declare as under:-

i)  that  the  inter  se  seniority  of  Judges  of  a  High Court  shall  reckon  from  the  order  and  date  of their  appointment as Additional Judges of that Court;

ii)  that  the inter se seniority of Additional Judges of a High Court appointed vide the same order and  date  shall  reckon  from  their  seniority  in age.  If  appointment  of  two  or  more  service candidates is simultaneously made with that of the candidates from the Bar, the service Judges shall  retain  their  existing  seniority  in  the department regardless of their age, though that would  be  the  determining  factor  in  respect  of their seniority viz a viz the candidates from the Bar.  This  principle  has  consistently  been followed  without  exception  ever-since  the establishment  of  the  High  Courts  in  Pakistan and  is  even  otherwise  in  accord  with  the equitable dispensation of justice.

2.  With  the  above  observations  and  declaration,  this petition is dismissed.”

CHIEF JUSTICE

JUDGE (HJ-1)     JUDGE (HJ-3)

 JUDGE (HJ-5)     JUDGE (HJ-8)

 Islamabad, the 6th of May, 2014

Approved For Reporting

Khurram

Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, J.:    I  have  had  the  privilege  of perusing the proposed judgment authored by the Honourable Chief Justice  and  I  am  in  respectful  agreement  with  the  conclusions drawn  and  the  declarations  made  therein.  I  may,  however,  very briefly  record  some  supplemental  reasons  for  reaching  such conclusions and making such declarations.

 2.  It  is  proverbial  and  universally  acknowledged  that  the Constitution of a country is a living organism and the case in hand is  a  case  in  point.  It  demonstrates  how  the  original  words  of  a Constitution  assume  different  meanings,  the  initial  concepts envisaged therein undergo metamorphosis and the earlier schemes contained  in  the  same  evolve  and  transform  into  different mechanisms  with  passage  of  time,  changed  circumstances  and sprouting requirements.

 3.  There is no denying the fact that over the last century and a half since 1861 the concept and utility of the office of an Additional Judge  of  a  High  Court  in  the  Indo-Pak  subcontinent  have undergone a significant transformation and the same is manifestly evident  from  the  changing  and  varying  provisions  of  section  7  of the East  India (High Courts of Judicature) Act, 1861, section 3 of Act  No.  18  of  1911  amending  the  Indian  High  Courts  Act,  1861, section 222 of the Government of India Act, 1935, Articles 217 and 224  of  the  Constitution  of  India,  1950, Articles  166  and  168(2)  of the  Constitution  of  Pakistan,  1956,  Article  2  of  the  Courts (Additional Judges) Order, 1958,  Article 96 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1962 and Articles 193, 197 and 175A of the Constitution of  the  Islamic  Republic  of  Pakistan,  1973.  A  Judge  who  was initially required only to “act” as a Judge of a High Court and was meant  to  be  only  a  temporary  Judge  appointed  by  way  of  a  stop-gap  arrangement  for  a  period  of  a  few  days,  weeks  or  months  in order  to  cater  for  a  temporary  exigency  in  a  High  Court  later  on came  to be  known  as  an  “Additional  Judge”,  his  services  became time  bound  rather  than  being  exigency  based  and  all  and  sundry started  accepting  that  his  appointment was  not  by  way  of  a  stop-gap  arrangement  but  he  was  passing  through  different  stages  of appointment as a Judge which stages could span over a period of one year, two years or sometimes even three years. Over time some changes  introduced  through  different  Constitutions  or constitutional  instruments  themselves  started  indicating  that instead  of  an  exigency  based  appointment  an  appointment  of  an Additional Judge of a High Court could be made for a period to be fixed  by  a  law  and  later  on in  the  case  of Al-Jehad  Trust  through Raeesul  Mujahideen  Habib-ul-Wahab-ul-Khairi  and  others  v. Federation  of  Pakistan  and  others [PLD  1996  SC  324] this  Court had  declared  that  “a  practice/convention  had  developed  in Pakistan  that  in  the  High  Courts  Judges  are  first  appointed  as Additional  Judges  ——-  and  then  they  are  appointed  as permanent  Judges”  and  that  upon  satisfactory  completion  of  his term  as  an  Additional  Judge  of  a  High  Court  a  person  could entertain a legitimate expectation of being appointed as a Judge of that  Court  on  a  permanent  basis.  This  metamorphosis  in  the concept  attached  to  an  Additional  Judge  of  a  High  Court  has gradually  led  to  a  conceptual  readjustment vis-à-vis  the  initial constitutional scheme pertaining to the said office and the practice developed  in  this  field  over  the  last  many  decades  has  been  so consistent  that  it  can  be  said  to  have  matured into  a  convention which  has  been  accepted  by  all  concerned  without  any  demur  or departure.

 4.  It has been argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner that  at  the  time  of  his  appointment  to  the  office  of  an  Additional Judge  of  a  High  Court  a  person enters  upon  that  office  upon making  of  an  oath  and  then  upon  his  appointment  as  a  Judge such  Additional  Judge  makes  another  oath  before  entering  upon that office and, thus, the two offices are different and by virtue of the  provisions  of  Article  194  read  with  clause  (3)  of  Article  255  of the Constitution of the  Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 a term of office of a Judge starts from the day he makes oath of the office of  a  Judge  and,  therefore,  his  seniority  in  that  office  cannot  be reckoned  with  reference  to  the  earlier  date  of  his  appointment  as an  Additional  Judge.  Such  an  argument  may  appear  to  be  quite appealing  at  its  surface  but  the  same  cannot  withstand  deeper judicial  scrutiny,  particularly  in  the  backdrop  of  the  transformed concept and utility of an Additional Judge as observed above. Such an argument conveniently overlooks the fact that the qualifications now  prescribed  by  the  Constitution  for  an  Additional  Judge  of  a High  Court  are  the  same  as  those  stipulated  for  a  Judge  of  such Court,  the  process  of  appointment  of  an  Additional  Judge  is  the same as that of appointment of a Judge, the Constitution does not provide for a separate and different oath of office for an Additional Judge and before entering upon the said office an Additional Judge has to make the same oath which is prescribed by the Constitution for a Judge of a High Court. Apart from that the said oath of office is  prescribed  by  the  Constitution  itself  and  by  virtue  of  the provisions of clause (1) of Article 260 of the Constitution a “Judge” in relation to a High Court includes an  “Additional Judge” of that Court. In this view of the matter on the  basis of the changed and altered concept and utility of an Additional Judge of a High Court and  also  on  account  of  an  evolved  understanding  of  the constitutional  scheme  in  this  regard  besides  the  practice vis-à-vis such appointments developed over the last many decades I feel no hesitation  in  holding  that  now  a  Judge  of  a  High  Court  is appointed  in  many  stages  and  that  his  appointment  as  an Additional Judge marks the first and initial stage and his final and formal  appointment  as  a  Judge  is  the  culminating  stage  of  such appointment.  Under  the  present  dispensation  and  understanding an  Additional  Judge’s  subsequent  appointment  as  a  Judge  is  not an appointment to a new office but through such appointment his initial  appointment  as  an  Additional  Judge  matures  and  merges into  the  office  of  a  Judge.  Looked  at  from  this  angle  and perspective  the  subsequent  oath  made  by  such  Judge  is  nothing but  in  continuation  of  his  earlier  oath,  particularly  when  the subsequent oath is the selfsame oath which he had already made before entering upon the office of an Additional Judge. By making the  said  oath  as  an  Additional  Judge  he  had  already  entered  the office  of  a Judge  and  his  subsequent  oath  as  a  Judge  only reinforces and confirms his position in that office. It is, thus, with reference  to  making  of  the  first  oath  as  an  Additional  Judge  that seniority of a Judge is to be reckoned and such is the spirit of the transformed scheme of the Constitution as we understand it today.

5.  Apart  from  what  has  been  observed  above  I  consider  such mode of determination of seniority of a Judge of a High Court to be a safer mode for the purpose as it obviates the chances of tinkering or  fiddling  with  the  seniority  of  a  Judge  by  the  Judicial Commission  of  Pakistan  or  the  Parliamentary  Committee  by delaying the matter of his nomination and confirmation as such or by  the  Government  of  Pakistan  by  delaying  issuance  of  the notification  of  appointment  of  an  Additional  Judge  as  a  Judge  for reasons which may be manufactured or contrived. Considered from this  angle  the  mode  of  determination  of  seniority  of  a  Judge  of  a High  Court  being  declared  through  the  judgment  in  the  present case  is  likely  to  foster  and  advance  the  constitutional  mandate regarding “fully” securing the independence of the judiciary.

 (Asif Saeed Khan Khosa)

Judge

 

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