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Justice Hilali becomes second woman Supreme Court judge

ISLAMABAD: Justice Musarrat Hilali became the second female judge of the Supreme Court in a simple but dignified ceremony.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Friday administered the oath to Justice Hilali, who had been the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

On Wednesday, President Dr Arif Alvi had formally appointed Justice Hilali as an apex court judge.

After Justice Hilali’s elevation, the number of top court judges has increased to 16 out of a total sanctioned strength of 17.

Since March 2013, Justice Hilali has been the only woman on the bench of the PHC. She is the third woman to sit on the bench in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and was the first chief justice of the PHC.

She took oath as acting chief justice of the PHC on April 1, 2023, and became the permanent CJ of the PHC on May 12.

Last year in January, Justice Ayesha Malik had taken the oath to become the first-ever female judge to reach the apex court.

Justice Hilali has earned several distinctions in her career — first as a civil society activist and member of the bar and then her elevation to the bench. Known as an outspoken human rights activist, she remained office-bearer of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and also headed its KP chapter on different occasions.

Justice Hilali was an active member of the PHC Bar Association and served as its first female secretary, vice president and general secretary. She was also twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association for 2007-8 and 2008-9.

She served as the first woman additional advocate general from November 2001 to March 2004 and as chairperson of the KP Environmental Protection Tribunal as well.

Justice Hilali was also the first provincial ombudsperson appointed in 2010 under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010. She was elevated to the bench as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and was confirmed as a judge of the high court on March 13, 2014.

Source: Business Recorder