ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Saturday, stated in case the IHC chief justice is on any kind of leave, the next senior judge of the court shall mark the cases.
Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, senior puisne judge of the IHC, in the case titled Sher Afzal Khan Marwat vs The Federation of Pakistan and others on 03-11-2023 laid emphasis on regulating powers of the IHC after the apex court’s order in Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act, 2023.
According to the law, the CJP is now supposed to consult a committee comprising two senior most SC judges for exercising the original jurisdiction of the court and formation of benches.
Justice Kiyani had ordered the IHC registrar office to place the matter before the court’s Administration Committee “to be resolved by way of informed decision by the Administration Committee or by the Full Court under the High Court Rules and Orders”.
The IHC office placed the matter before the chief justice IHC, who in exercise of powers conferred under Rule 1, Part-A, Chapter 10 of Lahore High Court Rules and Orders, Volume V read with this Court’s Notification No. 354/Legis/IHC dated 28-08-2019, passed an order; “Additional Registrar (Judicial) shall seek guidance from the Chief Justice regarding the constitution of benches in case of non-availability of the Chief Justice and act accordingly.
And in case the IHC Chief Justice is on any kind of leave, the next senior judge of the Court shall mark the cases.” He noted that according to the rule, the IHC’s administrative and executive work shall be controlled by a Committee of Judges to be known as the Administration Committee.
“[This will be the case] provided that those matters which are the exclusive concern of the CJ, namely, the constitution of benches and the appointment and control of the High Court Establishment shall be dealt with in accordance with such instructions as may from time to time be issued by the CJ”.
The judge stated that cases can only be marked by the administration judge on the basis of powers assigned by the CJ and no special powers have been extended to the administration judge for the constitution of any bench.
“Therefore, any case including instant petition to be fixed for same day or for that matter all other petitions, which were not entertained by the office including but not limited to pre-arrest bail, ad-interim protective bail, which could only be marked for next working day in absence of Honourable CJ, but Bench could not be constituted by the administration judge of this court.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023