The apex court has given three days to the federal government to take back its notification for appointment of the chairman and members of the Federal Service Tribunal (FST).
On Friday, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court took up the case related to the court’s March 25, 2013, judgment, directing the government to appoint the FST chairman after consulting the sitting chief justice of Pakistan.
Former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had given a 62-page verdict on twin constitutional pleas filed by Shaikh Riazul Haq, an advocate of the Supreme Court, and Shabbir Ahmed Nasir regarding the appointment of federal and provincial service tribunals in consultation with the chief justice of Pakistan and the respective chief justices of the high courts.
The order also asked the federal and provincial governments to enact proper laws for the purpose. The service tribunal performs judicial functions in exercise of judicial powers conferred upon it by the legislature and, therefore, enjoys the status of a court and is required to be separated from the executive in terms of Article 175(3) of the Constitution, the
The court had observed that it was necessary to appoint them in consultation with the chief justice to make the chairman and the members of the service tribunal independent.
Last year, however, the federal government appointed Sheikh Ahmad Farooq as the FST chairman without consulting the chief justice.
The court observed that the appointment of the FST chairman was illegal as the CJP hadn’t been taken into confidence over the matter.
During the hearing on Friday, Additional Attorney General Waqar Ahmad Rana sought more time to make a statement on the issue.
However the bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, expressed anger over the illegal appointments and asked the government to rectify its mistake.
The judges warned that, otherwise, the court may pass an order to retrieve the perks and privileges enjoyed by the FST members during their tenure.
Later, the AAGP told The Express Tribune that the court’s earlier judgment would be implemented in letter and spirit.
The hearing of case has been adjourned until October 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.