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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Justice Aalia Neelum sworn in as LHC’s first female chief justice

President Asif Ali Zardari approved her appointment on Wednesday
Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan administers oath of office to Lahore High Court judge Justice Miss Aalia Neelum at a ceremony in Lahore on July 11, 2024. Screengrab via PTV News
Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan administers oath of office to Lahore High Court judge Justice Miss Aalia Neelum at a ceremony in Lahore on July 11, 2024. Screengrab via PTV News

Justice Aalia Neelum took oath as the first female chief justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday (today). Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan administered the oath of office to her in a ceremony in Lahore.

Punjab’s first woman Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz was also present in the ceremony held at the Governor House.

On Wednesday, President Asif Ali Zardari approved her appointment, as well as that of Justice Shafi Siddiqui as the Sindh High Court’s top judge, under Article 175-A(13) of the Constitution.

“Justice Aalia Neelum’s appointment is a significant milestone in the history of the court and a testament to her exceptional qualifications and dedication to the legal profession. Justice Miss Aalia Neelum is a distinguished jurist with a remarkable career spanning over two decades,” said the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Last week, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, approved Justice Neelum’s elevation after considering the nominations of three judges for the position of LHC chief justice including acting Chief Justice Shujaat Ali Khan and Justice Ali Baqar Najafi.

This historic development marked the first time that the selection of an LHC chief justice was made through a voting process among three judges.

Born in 1966 in Lahore, Justice Neelum obtained her law degree from the Punjab University Law College in 1995 and has additional legal diplomas to her credit. She started her legal practice as an advocate in 1996, becoming a high court lawyer in 1998 and a Supreme Court lawyer in 2008. Justice Neelum has practised in various fields of law, including constitutional, civil, criminal, and terrorism cases.

She was appointed as an ad-hoc judge of the Lahore High Court in 2013 and became a permanent judge in 2015. She has also issued standard operating procedures for recording witness testimony through video links.

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Justice Neelum has also participated in several international conferences in Washington DC, Minneapolis, USA, the Philippines, Argentina, and New Zealand.

She played a role in preparing the standard operating procedures (SOP) for recording evidence during trials in e-courts in Punjab.

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Justice Aalia Neelum