ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 2nd August, 2016) : Supreme Court Bar Association and Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) on Tuesday unanimously opposed a private Member's bill in the Senate Law Committee, seeking representation of women judges in the superior judiciary on Quota System. The meeting of the Senate Committee on Law and Justice held at Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Murtaza Javed Abbasi and discussed "the Supreme Court Number of Judges (Amendment) Bill" moved by Senator Zaheer-ud-Din Babar.
The bill, calls for appointment of "at least one-third female judges" in the Supreme Court, one each from the four provinces and Islamabad and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). President SCBA Ali Zafar suggested that quota system in the judiciary should be discouraged and there is dire need to follow only merit. "There is shortage of senior women judges and lawyers in the High Courts and in such situation this bill will not be applicable", he said.
President IHCBA, Tariq Mehmood Jahangeri said that according to the bill, there should be at least six women judges, out of 17, in the Supreme Court. He said what they would do if tomorrow they could not find out a woman lawyer fulfilling the requirements and qualification criteria for the appointment as judge in the superior courts. "Will that seat be kept vacant?" he questioned. Representatives of Islamabad Bar Council and Punjab Bar Council also opposed the Bill and suggested that it should be deferred.
After hearing the opinion, the committee deferred the Bill because of Zaheer-ud-Din Babar's absence. The Committee also discussed a matter raised by Senator Saeed Ghani regarding recalling/withdrawal of order by the Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wherein acting/current charges were given to various officers of NAB, in violation of rules and reappointment of same officers, on the same day, in Own Pay Scale.
Chairman of the Committee Javed Abbasi and Member Farooq H Naek directed the Director General NAB to provide list of officers who are on deputations, their grades and date of absorption in Bureau within one week. Discussing the proposed Amendments in the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority Act, 1996, the committee directed the Additional Secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology to prepare a draft for enhancing penalties on corrupt people and decreasing the discretionary powers of PSQCA officials.