LAHORE – Yousaf Saleem has become the first blind judge in Pakistan after taking oath of civil judge in Punjab capital city on Tuesday.
Saleem, earlier dropped for being blind, had been reconsidered and recommended for the position of the civil judge after intervention by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar.
A gold medalist of the Punjab University in LLB (Honors), Yousaf had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 candidates. He was amongst 21 candidates, who qualified for interview. However, he failed in interview as he was blind.
Taking a suo motu notice in April,the chief justice observed that a person could be a judge even if he is blind, provided he meets all other qualifications.
“It appears in this case, his fundamental rights under Articles 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution, the provisions of the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Pakistan, three percent quota under the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 1981, and the jurisprudence developed by the Lahore High Court in PLD 2017 Lahore 406 and PLD 2017 Lahore 1 were not considered by the Lahore High Court,” reads the SC press release on suo motu.
The CJP referred the matter to the chief justice Lahore High Court and the relevant selection committee directing them to reconsider the case and “give a speaking opinion.”
And one day Yousaf received a letter from the LHC that reads: “You are hereby informed that the Hon’ble Examination Committee for Recruitment of District Judiciary and Lahore High Court Establishment has recommended you for appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate.”