The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Ijazul Ahsan, presented his resignation on Thursday, following Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi’s resignation a day prior. Although the written contents of Justice Ahsan’s resignation sent to President Arif Alvi remain undisclosed, sources confirm the submission.
Justice Ijazul Hassan, the third-most senior judge, was noticeably absent from the recent meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council. Widely considered the leading candidate for the position of Chief Justice in October 2024, his unexpected resignation has reshaped the succession plan.
As of March 10, 2024, with the retirement of the second-most senior judge, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Mansoor will ascend to become the most senior judge on the Supreme Court. Subsequently, with Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s expected retirement on October 25, 2024, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah is poised to step into the role of Chief Justice, marking significant leadership changes.
Justice Mazahir Akbar Naqvi, who cited ‘misconduct’ concerns, resigned a day earlier. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb asserted that the alleged conspiracy against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had concluded with these resignations. She questioned the judges’ integrity, suggesting their actions were influenced by prior threats from PTI’s Imran Khan.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, in a notable disapproval, opposed the show cause notice issued to Justice Mazahir Naqvi, labeling it hasty and against legal standards. Expressing concern over the Council’s actions, he emphasized the need for discussion, citing deviations from the Qazi Faez Isa reference decision.
Former Attorney General of Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf, highlighted potential positive outcomes amid negative aspects surrounding Justice Ahsan’s resignation. Ausaf suggested the resignation might be linked to internal differences, emphasizing the urgency to fill the three vacant Supreme Court seats for the benefit of the country.