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July 22, 2017

Article 175-A Constitution of Pakistan, Judicial Commission of Pakistan

Parliament of Pakistan recently passed famous 18th Amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan. The most important and controversial new article 175-A is inserted in the Constitution of Pakistan. The purpose of this article is to create body known as Judicial Commission of Pakistan for appointment of judges of superior judiciary in Pakistan. Here the text of article 175-A of Constitution of Pakistan is given which comprehensively describes the procedure for composition of Judicial Commission of Pakistan.

Article 175A. Appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat Court
(1) There shall be a Judicial Commission of Pakistan, hereinafter in this Article referred to as the Commission, for appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat Court, as hereinafter provided.
(2) For appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court, the Commission shall consist of—
(i) Chief Justice of Pakistan; Chairman
(ii) two most senior Judges of the Supreme Court;Member
(iii) a former Chief Justice or a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to be nominated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in consultation with the two member Judges, for a term of two years; Member
(iv) Federal Minister for Lawand Justice;Member
(v) Attorney-General for Pakistan; and Member
(vi) a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council for a term of two years.Member
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1) or clause (2), the President shall appoint the most senior Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

(4) The Commission may make rules regulating its procedure.

(5) For appointment of Judges of a High Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also include the following, namely:-
(i) Chief Justice of the High Court to which the appointment is being made; Member
(ii) the most senior Judge of that High Court; Member
(iii) Provincial Minister for Law; and Member
(iv) a senior advocate to be nominated by the Provincial Bar Council for a term of two years: Member, Provided that for appointment of the Chief Justice of a High Court, the most senior Judge of the Court shall be substituted by a former Chief Justice or former Judge of that Court, to be nominated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in consultation with the two member Judges of the Commission mentioned in clause(2):
Provided further that if for any reason the Chief Justice of High Court is not available, he shall also be substituted in the manner as provided in the foregoing proviso.
(6) For appointment of Judges of the Islamabad High Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also include the following, namely:-
(i) Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court; and Member
(ii) most senior Judge of that High Court, Member Provided that for initial appointment of the Judges of the Islamabad High Court, the Chief Justices of the four Provincial High Courts shall also be members of the Commission. Provided further that subject to the foregoing proviso, in case of appointment of Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, the provisos to clause (5) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.
(7) For appointment of Judges of the Federal Shariat Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also include the Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court and the most senior Judge of that Court as its members: Provided that for appointment of Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court, the provisos to clause (5) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

(8) The Commission by majority of its total membership shall nominate to the Parliamentary Committee one person, for each vacancy of a Judge in the Supreme Court, a High Court or the Federal Shariat Court, as the case may be;

(9) The Parliamentary Committee, hereinafter in this Article referred to as the Committee, shall consist of the following eight members, namely:-
(i) four members from the Senate; and
(ii) four members from the National Assembly.
(10) Out of the eight members of the Committee, four shall be from the Treasury Benches, two from each House and four from the Opposition Benches, two from each House. The nomination of members from the Treasury Benches shall be made by the Leader of the House and from the Opposition Benches by the Leader of the Opposition.

(11) Secretary, Senate shall act as the Secretary of the Committee.

(12) The Committee on receipt of a nomination from the Commission may confirm the nominee by majority of its total membership within fourteen days, failing which the nomination shall be deemed to have been confirmed: Provided that the Committee may not confirm the nomination by three-fourth majority of its total membership within the said period, in which case the Commission shall send another nomination.

(13) The Committee shall forward the name of the nominee confirmed by it or deemed to have been confirmed to the President for appointment.

(14) No action or decision taken by the Commission or a Committee shall be invalid or called in question only on the ground of the existence of a vacancy therein or of the absence of any member from any meeting thereof.

(15) The Committee may make rules for regulating its procedure.

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