Pakistan News

Ex-judge moves SC against removal from service

ISLAMABAD: Former judge of the Islamabad High Court Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui moved two applications before the Supreme Court on Saturday, one concerning early hearing of his appeal and the other placing of the same before a judge who had earlier not dealt with the matter.

The fresh appeal was filed before the apex court against the returning of an earlier appeal of Mr Siddiqui by the registrar of the Supreme Court on Oct 5. That appeal was also instituted by the former judge challenging the Oct 11 notification for his removal as the judge of the high court on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) under Article 209 of the Constitution.

Mr Siddiqui contended that his fresh application would be put up for hearing before Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar as a matter of routine. Since his earlier appeal arose out of a report that was given by the SJC chairman who happens to be the CJP, it would be in the interest of justice, equity, fair play and rule of law that his fresh appeal be referred to any other judge of the Supreme Court who was not the member of the council.

It is a well settled law that justice should not only be done, but also should be seen to have been done, the applicant argues.

The application emphasised that the matter in hand was of great public importance since important questions in relation to the independence of the judiciary, rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution had been raised requiring an earlier adjudication of the matter by the apex court, the application said.

Since, Mr Siddiqui contended, a number of his legal and constitutional rights were involved in the matter, early fixation of the appeal should be considered in the interest of justice.

In his previous appeal, which he moved before the court on Oct 26, Mr Siddiqui had pleaded the apex court to restore him as a permanent judge of the Islamabad High Court after setting aside the Oct 11, 2018 notification for his removal.

Mr Siddiqui was removed from the judicial office on the recommendation of the SJC for displaying a conduct unbecoming of a judge by delivering a speech on July 21, 2018 at the District Bar Association Rawalpindi, thus guilty of misconduct.

In a 30-page appeal, the former judge with a seven-year judicial experience explained the context in which he was compelled to address the bar association in which he made remarks against the involvement of certain officers of the executive organ of the state, specifically Inter-Services Intelligence, in the affairs of the judiciary and to allegedly manipulate the formation of benches of the high court.

“The remarks made by the petitioner (Mr Siddi­qui) were an honest attempt demanded by his conscience to counter the challenges posed to the independence of the judiciary,” he argued in his appeal.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2018

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