Supreme_Court_of_Pakistan,_Islamabad_by_Usman_GhaniA session of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) on Thursday regarding the appointment of Justice Ayesha Malik of the Lahore High Court to the Supreme Court ended inclusively, a private TV channel reported. Reports said that the JCP could not evolve consensus regarding the elevation of the first female judge to the apex court. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan and Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem supported her nomination. While Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice, Justice (r) Dost Muhammad Khan and PBC representative in JCP Akhtar Hussain opposed the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a member of the JCP, was absent from the meeting for being out of country. “Legal experts say that under the Constitution of Pakistan, a name cannot be finalised unless the majority approves it, so technically Justice Ayesha Malik’s name has been rejected. If her name had been approved by a majority, she would have been the first woman judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court,” the TV channel reported quoting sources. Reports said the AGP suggested that the judgments and record of women judges of other high courts should also be reviewed and the matter should be referred for the next meeting, but no agreement was reached on this issue either. AGP Khalid Jawed Khan said in his opinion that appointment of the first woman judge to the apex court ‘would have been a historic occasion’. “I would prefer that the first woman judge be appointed by unanimous recommendation of the members of JCP as well as full support of the Bar. Such happy occasion does not appear to be materialising today,” he wrote in his note. “The JCP may decide and resolve that henceforth there shall at least be one seat, with the possibility of more in future, earmarked for appointment of a woman as judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he added. Meanwhile, the legal fraternity on Thursday called for adherence to the seniority principle in all judicial appointments to the Supreme Court from provincial high courts. A lawyers convention held under the auspices of Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association urged the Judicial Commission of Pakistan to adhere to seniority principle until criteria for appointment of judges at all levels was framed in consultation with all stakeholders including the Bar. They said that unstructured exercise of discretion must be duly regulated through rules and guidelines. The convention also criticised the passage of the Amendment Bill by the National Assembly in relation to Section 5 (d) of the Legal Practitioners & Bar Councils Act, 1973, whereby members already appointed to various posts in the service of Pakistan on the basis of their legal experience had been provided a cover to continue as members of their respective bar councils, associations and to enjoy voting rights and a right to be considered against all judicial and other legal posts and elevations which were otherwise reserved for practicing lawyers. They demanded that a lawyers protection act be passed by parliament for the protection of Lawyers who were being frequently targeted and even murdered for performing their professional duties. They also resolved that Article 175(A) should be amended. They also demanded the parliament to undo the judgment by which more than 17000 employees had been declared jobless. They further demanded a ban on all forms of re-appointments after retirement.