ISLAMABAD, Jan 25 (APP):The National Assembly on Friday passed the Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2019 aimed at increasing number of judges in the Court from seven to ten including the Chief Justice.
The bill was moved by the Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Ms. Maleeka Ali Bukhari following which the House passed it after voice voting. The government rejected the amendments proposed by the lawmakers in this bill and approved it as reported by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
PML-N MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbassi moved the amendment in the bill for
submission of tax returns and assets by the judges. However, the Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice opposed it and said that Article 193 of the Constitution would have to be changed for the purpose. She also opposed the amendments of MNAs belonging to MMPA and finally the House passed the bill.
It may be mentioned that the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on December 21, 2018 following which it reported on this legislative proposal and recommended to increase the number of judges in Islamabad High Court (IHC) from seven to ten including Chief Justice.
The opposition lawmakers, having representation in this Committee, submitted dissenting notes on it but the National Assembly passed it as reported by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, the existing
sanctioned strength of Judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) is six plus one Chief Justice. As intimated by the IHC, the present strength of Judges compared to number of pending cases is not sufficient, besides the institution of fresh cases which is increasing every year.
It is, therefore, necessary to increase the strength of the Judges of the IHC from seven to ten Judges including Chief Justice to overcome the difficulties of litigant public for early disposal of long pending cases.