ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi has accorded approval to the appointment of Justice Musarrat Hilali as the chief justice of Peshawar High Court (PHC).
The appointment has been approved under Article 175A (13) of the Constitution. Justice Hilali has been working as acting chief justice of Peshawar High Court.
On April 14, the judicial commission unanimously recommended the name of Justice Hilali for appointment as the regular chief justice of the high court during a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial.
Justice Hilali has previously been working as acting chief justice of the PHC.
The president approved her appointment under Article 175A (13) of the Constitution, according to a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat.
After her appointment as the regular CJ, Justice Hilali has become the second female in the country who has been elevated to the office of chief justice of a high court — the first being Justice Syeda Tahir Safdar, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court.
Upon the retirement of PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan on March 30, the most senior judge of the court, Justice Noorul Amin Khan was appointed as the acting CJ. But his stint lasted a day only.
After Justice Khan’s retirement on March 31, a day after he took over as the acting CJ, Justice Hilali was appointed as the first woman acting chief justice of the PHC on April 1.
Who is Justice Hilali?
Born in Peshawar on August 08, 1961, Justice Hilali received a law degree from Khyber Law College, Peshawar University and enrolled as an Advocate of District Courts in 1983, as an Advocate of the High Court in 1988 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2006.
Being a female she had several achievements in her career including:
- First female elected office-bearer in the post of secretary at the bar from 1988-1989
- Vice president at the bar (twice) from 1992 till 1994
- General Secretary from 1997 till 1998
- First female twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
She was also the first female Additional Advocate General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2001 to March 2004 and was later appointed as the first female Chairperson Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Tribunal.
Justice Hilali also served as the first female ombudsman for protection against the harassment of women in the workplace.
She was elevated to the bench as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and confirmed as a permanent judge of the Peshawar High Court on March 13, 2014.