The glass ceiling has finally been shattered after the Judicial Commission of Pakistan has confirmed the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik as the Supreme Court Judge. If Malik makes it to the Supreme Court, it will make her the country’s first-ever woman judge to sit on the apex court.
This is the second time that the JCP scheduled a meeting to decide on the appointment of Justice Malik. Earlier, on Sept 9 meeting, the commission has been forced to reject her nomination due to the lack of unanimity during an extended meeting of the JCP. But in another meeting which is being headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed the elevation of Justice Malik was authorized by a majority of five votes against four.
Furthermore, during that meeting, four members of the eight-member JCP were against the proposal to raise the status of Justice Malik while an equal number had endorsed it. Earlier, the Supreme Court Bar Association President Abdul Latif Afridi had convened a countrywide rally to voice anger over, what the legal community perceived, indifference to the seniority principle in the nomination of judges to the apex court.
The negative sentiment was also expressed this time. The legal community is urging the chief justice to reschedule the JCP meeting scheduled for Thursday. The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and other bar organizations have threatened to boycott all court hearings, from the Supreme Court to the lower courts, if the conference is not canceled. But the JCP has confirmed her nomination.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bokhari referred to this decision as an important and defining moment in the history of the country. Maria Memon, the Senior Journalist took to Twitter and wrote: “History has been made.”
In addition, the Women in Law Pakistan initiative issued a statement earlier this week in response to the seniority argument over Justice Malik’s appointment. They claimed that seniority is a misconception and that there is no obligation in law or Constitution to elect the senior-most judge to the Supreme Court.