Justice Mussarat Hilali took the oath of office on Saturday morning, becoming the first female chief judge in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to preside over the Peshawar High Court.
The PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan retired on March 30, and Justice Noorul Amin Khan, the court’s senior judge, was named acting CJ. Yet his assignment was only for a day.
Judge Hilali had been named as the first female acting chief justice of the PHC following Justice Khan’s retirement on March 31, one day after he had taken over as the acting CJ.
Until a permanent replacement was named, the president appointed Justice Hilali to serve as interim Chief Justice.
Judge Hilali was appointed to the Peshawar High Court in 2013 as an additional judge before being elevated to regular status in 2014.
The position of CJ Hilali expires in August. She will hold the position of PHC Chief Justice for a period of five months.
Justice Mussarat Hilali
Judge Hilali, who was born on August 8, 1961, in the village of Batkhela in the Malakand division, completed her elementary education there before moving to Peshawar to pursue her higher education. She began working as a lawyer after graduating from Khyber Law College at Peshawar University with an LLB.
In 1983, she received her district court license; in 1988, her high court license; and in 2006, her Supreme Court license.
A key figure in the 2007 struggle for legal freedom was Justice Hilali. During the movement, as she was apprehended, one of her legs was also broken.
She also holds the distinction of being the first female extra advocate general for KP and vice president of the PHC.
Women attorneys applauded Judge Hilali’s selection as the PHC’s first female chief justice.