Justice Musarrat Hilali, currently serving as the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), will be alleviated to the Supreme Court following the approval of Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP).
During a recent JCP meeting in Islamabad, chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, the decision was made.
This historic decision marks a significant milestone, as Justice Mussarat Hilali will become the first woman from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to be appointed as a judge in the country’s apex court. She will also be only the second woman in Pakistan’s history to serve on the Supreme Court.
The JCP, a constitutional body responsible for appointments to the Supreme Court, high courts, and the Federal Shariat Court, reached the decision with the consensus of its members, which include the Chief Justice of Pakistan, four senior-most judges, a former chief justice or apex court judge, the law minister, the attorney general, and a senior advocate nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council.
Currently, the Supreme Court has a total of 15 judges, including the Chief Justice, although the sanctioned strength is 17 judges. Justice Isa also proposed the names of the Chief Justices of the Sindh High Court and the Peshawar High Court as potential candidates for the vacant posts.
Justice Mussarat Hilali, born on August 8, 1961, in Peshawar, holds a law degree from Khyber Law College, Peshawar University. Throughout her career, she has achieved remarkable milestones in the legal profession. She made history by becoming the first female elected office-bearer, serving as secretary at the bar from 1988 to 1989.
She has also held the positions of Vice President at the bar on two occasions from 1992 to 1994 and General Secretary from 1997 to 1998. Additionally, she served as the first female Additional Advocate General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2001 to March 2004 and later became the first female Chairperson of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Tribunal.
She served as the first female ombudsman for the protection against the harassment of women in the workplace. She started off as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and she was later confirmed as a permanent judge of the Peshawar High Court on March 13, 2014.