CJP Nisar rekindles hope for visually impaired lawyer to become civil judge

12:11 PM | 24 Apr, 2018
CJP Nisar rekindles hope for visually impaired lawyer to become civil judge
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ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar has taken a suo motu notice of the plight of Yousaf Saleem, a visually impaired lawyer, who was denied the post of a civil judge.

The CJP has directed the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court to look into the matter of Saleem, who earned a gold medal in LLB from the University of Punjab in 2014.

Saleem, a young lawyer, who hails from Lahore and currently works as an assistant director (legal) in a department of the Punjab Government, was among the 21 candidates who recently passed the written test for the civil judge position.

However, his disability got in the way and he could only make it to the interview stage before being denied the position.

Although Saleem was eyeing entry into the judicial service, things turned worse after the interviewees asked questions revolving around Saleem and his probable dealing of affairs, being visually impaired.

He was asked questions such as, “How will you decipher the demeanour of the witness?", "How will you ascertain if the same person is testifying as mentioned in the list of witnesses?", "How will you assess the situation in the documents?"

Saleem had answered the panel that he would take assistance from his staff where visual disability would become a hurdle and also that criminal cases are not the only one, a judge has to deal with, The News reported.

Although the candidate could work in banking courts, rent courts and alternative dispute resolution forums, however, the interview panel didn’t merit his arguments and his name was missing in the final list of selected candidates issued on April 18th.

Dismayed by the rejection, the lawyer then appealed to the chief justice to look into the matter, following which the top judge has sought the intervention of the Lahore High Court.

Saleem, who is blind by birth has four sisters and two of them are also blind.

One of his sisters, Saima Saleem, is the first blind person to pass her civil service exam in 2007 and currently works in the Prime Minister Secretariat as a deputy secretary, while his other sister is a lecturer at a university in Lahore.