ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi gave approval to the elevation of Lahore High Court Justice Ayesha Malik as the first women judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Ayesha makes history as the first female Supreme Court judge in the judicial history of Pakistan. She will be sworn into the office on Monday (Jan 24), starting her tenure immediately. Outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad will take oath from Malik. CJP is set to retire on Feb 1, 2022 and Justice Umar Atta Bundial will replace him as chief justice.
Oath-taking ceremony of Justice Ayesha Malik will be held at the Supreme Court which will be attended by the judges of the Supreme Court, the attorney-general of Pakistan, and the advocate general.
According to the Ministry of Law and Justice, President Alvi had approved her appointment under sub-section one of Article 177 of the Constitution.
The president’s approval follows a formal go-ahead to the promotion from the Parliamentary Committee on Judges Appointments this past Wednesday.
The committee, under the chairmanship of Law Minister Farooq H. Naek, had decided to approve Justice Ayesha’s elevation after the Judicial Commission of Pakistan finally acquiesced to her nomination.
The Judicial Commission of Pakistan had on January 7 approved the elevation with a vote of five for and four against after a heated discussion on whether judges should be appointed based on merit or seniority.
Justice Ayesha Malik is ranked fourth in the Lahore High Court in terms of seniority, but she is widely respected as a capable judge.
Law Minister while approving her nomination said the court was not abolishing the procedure to appoint judges based on seniority, but Ayesha Malik’s appointment as first woman SC judge would benefit the country.
Justice Ayesha Malik has been nominated to take the seat being vacated by Justice Mushir Alam following his retirement on August 17.
Her appointment had been suggested by the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court and Justice Ayesha had subsequently agreed to the elevation in writing.
Born in 1966, Ayesha Malik completed her basic education from schools in Paris, New York, and Karachi, according to the LHC’s website.
She completed her BCom from the Government College of Commerce and Economics, Karachi, and studied law at Pakistan College of Law, Lahore.
She did LLM from Harvard Law School and has also worked with Fakhurddin G Ebrahim. Justice Malik has appeared in the high courts, district courts, banking courts, special tribunals, and arbitration tribunals.