February 22, 2024


Mr. Riazat Ali Sahar, Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council, and Mr. Farooq Hamid Naek, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council, have stated that the Pakistan Bar Council, as the foremost representative body of legal fraternity in the nation, is compelled to address a concerning issue that has surfaced within the judicial landscape. It has come to our attention that crucial tenure-based assignments, such as positions in courts and tribunals like the Federal Shariat Court, Anti-Terrorism Courts, Service Tribunals, Environmental Protection Tribunals, Appellate Tribunals and various other courts and tribunals, are consistently being repeatedly allocated to retired judges of the High Courts and District & Sessions Judges. This practice warrants immediate attention and resolution.

While the Pakistan Bar Council acknowledges the invaluable experience and wisdom that retired judges bring to the legal system, we deem it acceptable to appoint retired judges to such important posts once in exceptional cases. However, we are deeply concerned by the repeated extensions and re-assignments granted to the same retired judges. This practice poses a significant challenge to the morale of practicing lawyers and sitting judges.

It is an undeniable fact that retired judges already enjoy the benefits of pension and privileges rightfully accorded to them. Therefore, the Pakistan Bar Council questions the necessity of burdening them with re-assignments, which could instead be entrusted to deserving lawyers and sitting judges eager to contribute their skills and expertise to the administration of justice. Furthermore, if they are so burdened for assignment, they should not be given additional benefits except pension and privileges already accorded to them or the said pension and privileges be stopped during their period of assignment. This is because receiving double benefits imposes an unjustifiable burden on the national exchequer.

We urge the relevant authorities to heed our call for a thorough review of the above said issue and to priorities the fresh appointment of lawyers and sitting judges for these pivotal assignments. By doing so, we can ensure a more equitable distribution of opportunities within the legal fraternity while upholding the sanctity and credibility of our judicial system.

As the leading voice of the legal community, the Pakistan Bar Council remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting for transparency, accountability, and fairness within the judiciary. We stand united in voicing the genuine concerns of our fraternity and will continue to strive towards a legal system that serves the interests of justice and upholds the rule of law.