President approves appointment of SHC, LHC chief justices


Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui (left) and Justice Aalia Neelum. — SHC/LHC websites
Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui (left) and Justice Aalia Neelum. — SHC/LHC websites
  • Top slots fall vacant after Justice Aqeel, Justice Shahzad’s elevation.
  • Justice Aalia Neelum becomes first-ever female LHC chief justice.
  • JCP nominated Justice Shafi Siddiqui for SHC’s top position in June.

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday approved the appointment of Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui as chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Aalia Neelum as the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) top judge.

The president gave approval to the appointments of top jurists of both high courts under Article 175 A (13), a notification read.

The top positions fell vacant after three high court judges, including the chief justices of Sindh and Lahore high courts — Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, respectively — had been elevated to the Supreme Court last month.

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan unanimously nominated Justice Aalia for the LHC CJ’s post and Justice Shafi for the SHC’s top post in June.

Justice Aalia is scheduled to take oath in a prestigious ceremony to be held in Punjab Governor House in Lahore at 9:30am tomorrow. Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan will administer the oath to Justice Aalia.

She will be the first-ever female Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court in 142 years.

Justice Aalia: a brief profile

Honourable Justice Aalia was born on November 12, 1966, and got an LLB degree from the University of the Punjab in 1995. She was enrolled as an advocate a year later.

She also served as an advocate in the top court after her enrollment in 2008.

The lady jurist has rendered a number of reported judgments on numerous important issues since her elevation to an LHC bench in 2013.

As per her academic qualifications, Justice Aalia has a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Punjab and also holds diplomas in multiple fields related to law and judiciary. Moreover, she also acquired a B.Ed degree from her alma mater.

Besides practising judiciary dealing with criminal, civil and anti-terrorism laws, Justice Aalia also performed as a focal person for gender-based violence courts among other works.


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