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CJP takes notice of visually impaired lawyer’s non-selection as LHC judge – Pakistan

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has taken notice of a lawyer, Yousaf Saleem, not being selected as a Lahore High Court (LHC) judge allegedly over being visually impaired, according to a statement issued by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The notice was taken on an article, titled “Blind Man’s dream to be judge gone dark” by Umar Cheema, published in The News on April 22, and DawnNewsTV’s programme “Zara Hut Kay” aired on April 23.

According to the statement, the media outlets reported that Saleem, a gold medalist from University of Punjab in LLB (Honors) who topped the written examination of the Civil Judges conducted by LHC in 2017 among 6,500 candidates, was not selected in the interview on the grounds that he had a different ability, i.e. “blindness”.

Justice Nisar, according to the statement, observed that a person can hold the post of a judge even if he/she is blind, provided he/she meets all the other qualifications. “It appears that in this case his fundamental rights under Articles 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution, the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Pakistan in year 2011, the 3% quota under the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance, 1981, and the jurisprudence developed by the Lahore High Court in PLD 2017 Lahore 406 and PLD 2017 Lahore 1 were not considered by the Lahore High Court,” reads the statement.

The CJP has referred the matter to the LHC chief justice and the relevant committee of the high court for reconsideration of Saleem as a candidate and to give its opinion.

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