Monday, Justice Ayesha Malik made history after taking oath as Pakistan’s first female judge of Supreme Court (SC). Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath to Justice Ayesha.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who received a nomination as the next top judge of Pakistan, and other SC judges, also attended the ceremony.
Videos and pictures of the oath-taking ceremony are making rounds on social media as Pakistan celebrates the historical moment.
— Maryam Nawaz (@maryamnawazkhan) January 24, 2022
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry shared a picture of Justice Ayesha Malik taking her oath in the SC. Furthermore, Fawad Chaudhry called the picture a symbol of women’s empowerment.
“A powerful picture symbolizes the women empowerment in Pakistan. I hope she will be an asset to our Judicial hierarchy,” the Minister wrote.
A powerful picture symbolises the women empowerment in Pakistan, I hope she will be an asset to our Judicial hierarchy… Congratulations #JusticeAyeshaMalik a land mark elevation pic.twitter.com/BZplrXquOK
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) January 24, 2022
Justice Ayesha Malik’s appointment
Important to note, her appointment was a much-debated topic. Many lawyer activists rose up against the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik, favoring seniority over competence. They stated that the judge was fourth on the seniority list. Therefore, she should not receive the position of a Supreme Court judge. However, those in favour of her elevation pointed out that seniority was not a requirement for appointment to the apex court according to the Constitution.
As a result, on January 6, the nine-member Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) confirmed Malik’s nomination by a majority of five to four. Additionally, the Parliamentary Committee on the Appointment of Superior Judiciary also affirmed her appointment. Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi approved the appointment and notified Justice Ayesha Malik as a judge of the Supreme Court.
“In exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 177 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the president is pleased to appoint Mrs. Ayesha A. Malik, a judge of the Lahore High Court, […] as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with effect from the date she takes the oath of her office,” the notification read.
The decision received mass appreciation since it opens up endless possibilities for other women in the legal field. Pertinent to mention, Justice Ayesha Malik also delivered the historic decision prohibiting two-finger and hymen tests on female rape survivors across Punjab.