Justice Musarrat Hilali took oath as the first woman chief justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) — a role she will continue to serve until the appointment of a regular top judge by judicial commission.
She is known among the legal fraternity for not just her remarkable career but also her kindheartedness. Let’s have a look at her profile, below.
She is well-known among lawyers for being strict about court decorum and urges lawyers to come in a clean and complete attire.
PHC lawyer Shabbir Hussain Gigyani told Independent Urdu that Hilali strongly dislikes word ‘madam’ and she has scolded many lawyers over it.
The reason for that, she suggests, is that all judges sitting on the bench are the same, so calling them by their gender is tantamount to differentiating between them.
Due to the insistence, lawyers regularly write ‘My Lord’ on the file, but often as soon as they go in front of Justice Hilali, they simply utter the word ‘madam’, in her respect.
Gigyani said that after Hilali‘s appointment as the Chief Justice has sent a message to the country and the world that if given a chance, women of KP can prove themselves to be equally capable in terms of ability and intelligence.
Hilali received her law degree from University of Peshawar, and became an advocate of district courts in 1983. She was enrolled as a high court advocate in 1988 and then of the Supreme Court, in 2006.
She took up the role of the first woman additional advocate general from Nov 2001 to March 2004 and then as the chairperson of the Environmental Protection Tribunal, KP.
Hilali was twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association, first during 2007-8 and then from 2008-9.
She also has the honour of being the first provincial ombudsperson in 2010 under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010.