ISLAMABAD: Yousaf Saleem, a visually impaired lawyer from Lahore, became Pakistans first blind judge after taking oath of office here on Tuesday.
Saleem was first denied the position despite being a topper but was reconsidered and recommended for the position of civil judge after an intervention by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar last month, Geo News reported.
The 25-year-old is a gold medalist of Punjab University in LLB (Honors) worked as an assistant director (legal) in a department of the Punjab Government.
He had topped the written judiciary exam among 6,500 candidates. However, his disability got in the way and he could only make it to the interview stage before being denied the position.
After the issue was reported in the media, the Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo motu notice and directed the Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice to review the case.
On May 12, Saleem received a letter from the LHC about his appointment as Civil Judge-cum-Magistrate.
Son of a charted accountant, Yousaf is the youngest among siblings and is blind by birth. He has four sisters and two of them are also blind.
His sister Saima Saleem is the first blind person who passed civil service exam (CSS) in 2007.
Saima, also a gold medalist in English from Kinnaird College, had scored the 6th position and opted for the Foreign Service.
Yousaf’s another sister, who is also visually impaired teaches at a university in Lahore while pursuing her PhD.