Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has expressed deep concerns over the repeated practice of extension and re-assignments granted to retired judges of high courts and District and Session Judges in courts and tribunals, posing a significant challenge to the morale of practicing lawyers and sitting judges.

In a joint statement issued here on Thursday Riazat Ali Sahar, Vice Chairman of the PBC, and Farooq Hamid Naek, Chairman, Executive Committee of the PBC said 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.

They said that PBC acknowledges the invaluable experience and wisdom that retired judges bring to the legal system and they deem it acceptable to appoint retired judges to such important posts once in exceptional cases.

However, they expressed concerns over the repeated extensions and re-assignments granted to the same retired judges, saying 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 PBC 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, they said.

They said 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”, they said and urged the relevant authorities to heed their 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”, they said, adding that PBC remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting for transparency, accountability, and fairness within the judiciary.


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2024-02-23

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