Pakistan on 6th of January, has confirmed the nomination of the first woman judge of the supreme court after a high power panel approved the elevation of Lahore high court judge Ayesha Malik to the apex court. This is the first incident in the history of this Muslim majority nation.
The judicial commission of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed – approved Ayesha’s elevation by a majority of five votes against four. Ayesha Malik is 55 year old and she is to become the first female judge of the supreme court in the 74 years since the independence of Pakistan.
This was for the second time the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) held a meeting to determine on Justice Ayesha Malik’s elevation. Her name was chosen first for discussion on last year 9th of September, but later rejected owing to a tie of four votes against four. The president of Pakistan’s Supreme court Bar Association, had even called for a nationwide protest against her name being considered as he claimed that Justice Malik is junior to many judges serving in the country’s five high courts.
The Pakistan Bar council on Thursday had intimidated to boycott the courts if the JPC nominates Justice Ayesha Malik’s name for elevation. But the Judicial commission of Pakistan’s recommendation will be now considered by a parliamentary committee. Almost in all cases, the committee concurs with the recommendation of JPC.
Ayesha Malik was a partner at a leading corporate and commercial law firm before her elevation to the Lahore High court as Judge in 2012. When Justice Malik is elevated to Pakistan’s supreme court, she will be in the service as the supreme court judge until 2031. In that case, before retiring at the age of 65, Justice Malik will be the senior most serving judge on Pakistan’s Supreme court.
An Islamabad based lawyer, Benazir Jatoi said, “This elevation has become 74 years too late, and we should celebrate that some change to an all-male bench has finally come.” Anyways, the nomination of justice Malik is seen as a rare victory after the decades of struggle to occupy a greater representation and rights for women in Pakistan’s largely conservative patriarchal society.