Pakistan Shariat court gets first woman judge

IANS    31-Dec-2013

undefinedIslamabad, December 31: Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan Monday administered the oath of office to Justice Ashraf Jehan, the first woman judge to be appointed to the Federal Shariat Court in the country.

The ceremony was held at the Sindh High Court in Karachi, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan's national sharia court hears cases under the country's Islamic legislation. It examines the country's laws to check them for conformity with Islamic injunctions and hears appeals under religious legislation known as the "Hudood Laws", which run parallel to the penal code.

56 year old Justice Jehan was an additional judge at the SHC and before that, she also served in the capacity of the district and sessions judge (East) at the City Courts in Karachi.

Among those present at the ceremony were Sindh High Court Chief Justice Maqbool Bakar, judges and senior lawyers, including the president of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, members of the Bar Council, Bar Association and deputy attorney generals. 

 “There was no bar in the constitution to make a woman the judge of Shariat Court and there is no discrimination between men and women,” Justice Ahmed said.

The chief justice of the Shariat Court said he was pleased to comment on an historic moment. “I took the initiative as it would send the message to the world that we are enlightened people and would dispel many misconceptions,” he said.

The Federal Shariat Court was established by a presidential order in 1980 and Justice Jehan is the first woman judge in the institution's 33-year existence.