Court of appeals set up for Northern Areas
5 May 2005
Gilgit: The Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas has constituted a separate court of appeals for Northern Areas, official sources said on Thursday. They said the administrative ministry of the Northern Areas has constituted the separate court of appeals for the Northern Areas consisting of a chairman and two members to hear appeals arising out of the judgment and final orders of the existing Northern Areas Chief Court. The sources said that the ministry has received approval of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and appointed Justice (retired) Qazi Ehsan Ullah of the Peshawar High Court as chairman of the Northern Areas Court of Appeals, whereas two former chairmen of the Northern Areas Chief Court, Muzaffar H. Malik and Muhammad Khurshid Khan, have been appointed members of the court for a period of three years. The sources said that the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas had already promulgated the Northern Areas Court of Appeals Establishment Order in 1999, but the court has been established now. The source added that the Northern Areas court of appeals will also be held under the administrative control of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, as is the case with the Northern Areas Chief Court. According to the court of appeal establishment order, the chairmen and members can be transferred to anywhere — within or outside Pakistan – like other civil servants of the federation. Prior to the establishment of the separate court of appeals, the people of the region were unable to file appeals against the final orders and judgment of the Northern Areas chief court before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The sources said that with the establishment of a separate court of appeal, one of the longstanding demands of the people of Northern Areas had been fulfilled. This represented partial implementation of the judgment of Supreme Court of Pakistan dated May 28, 1999, regarding the provisions of right of appeal to the people of Northern Areas. The newly constituted court is akin to that of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but its jurisdiction is not equal to that of the SC and no constitutional cover is provided for the court. Rather, the sources said, it has been created through a notification.