Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has made a history by appointing the very first blind person as a Civil Judge. Yousaf Saleem, who was earlier rejected for the same post due to his visual impairment, expressed his gratitude for the Chief Justice of Pakistan for taking notice of the situation and the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court and the selection committee for reconsidering him.
Yousaf Saleem is a gold medalist in LLB (Honors) from the Punjab University. He had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 candidates, in 2014, but the last time he appeared as one of the 21 candidates giving the interview, he was rejected as he was blind.
This time, the Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo motu notice. He clearly stated that a person could be a judge even if he is blind, provided he meets all other requirements like his qualification. The CJP referred the matter to the chief justice Lahore High Court and the relevant selection committee directing them to reconsider the case because according to 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 made Yousaf eligible.
Yousaf is a son of a chartered accountant and two of her sisters are also visually impaired but like Yousuf, none of them accepted this disability as their fate and continued working with determination. Saima Saleem is the first blind person who did CSS, in 2017. Yousaf’s another blind sister teaches at a university in Lahore and is also doing her Ph.D. Yousaf is the youngest one among siblings.
While there are numerous blind judges serving justice worldwide, Yousaf Saleem is the first one to do so, in Pakistan. We wish him all the best for his new journey.