Cabinet picks former CJP Jillani to head IHC letter inquiry commission

In Local
March 30, 2024


The federal cabinet on Saturday picked former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani to lead the inquiry commission formed to probe the letter by six Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges alleging interference by intelligence agencies in judicial matters. 

The cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, also approved the formation of the inquiry commission. Jillani – often called ‘the gentleman judge’ for his mild manners – retired in July 2014.

The move came a day after the Supreme Court endorsed a proposal for a commission led by a retired judge to inquire into the letter written by six IHC judges regarding alleged interference of agencies in judicial functions.

Accepting the responsibility for heading the commission, the former chief justice said that he would commence the work on the matter after Eidul Fitr and once the notification is issued.

Replying to a journalist’s question on the nature of the inquiry, Jilani said it is “not an open judicial proceeding, I will not comment on it as it is a sensitive matter”.

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa had also unequivocally conveyed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that any interference by the executive in the affairs and judicial workings of judges would not be tolerated.

He emphasized that under no circumstances would there be any compromise on the independence of the judiciary.

The cabinet meeting also discussed the recent Bisham terror attack. The PM vowed to hold the culprits accountable stating that the inquiry committee probing the incident has been directed to submit a report within three days.

Read Six IHC judges seek SJC’s action over spy agencies interference

Justice (retd) Jilani

In October 2017, the government nominated the former chief justice as judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kulbushan Jadhav case.

He served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from July 31, 2004, to December 11, 2013, and subsequently as the 21st chief justice of Pakistan from December 12, 2013 until July 5, 2014.

He was born on July 6, 1949, in Multan and completed his Masters in Political Science from Forman Christian College and LLB from the University of Punjab, Lahore.

He started practising law at the Multan district courts in 1974 and in 1976 was elected general secretary of the district bar association. He was elected member of the Punjab Bar Council in 1978 and appointed assistant advocate general of Punjab in July 1979.

He was enrolled as an advocate of the Supreme Court in 1983 and was appointed additional advocate general of Punjab in 1993.

Justice (retd) Jillani took oath as a judge of the Lahore High Court on August 7, 1994 and was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on July 31, 2004, where he served till the imposition of the state of emergency on November 3, 2007.

As he refused to take a fresh oath, he was made dysfunctional. He took oath again as a judge of the Supreme Court in 2008.

Justice Jillani has participated in several international conferences and colloquiums where he spoke on issues which included ‘domestic application of international human rights’, ‘gender justice’, ‘alternative dispute resolution’, ‘forced marriages’, ‘transnational child abduction,’ and ‘religious tolerance’.

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