Pak judge sacked over ISI re­marks

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —PTI

Is­lam­abad: A se­nior Pak­istani judge, who was in line to be­come the chief jus­tice of the Is­lam­abad High Court next month, was sacked for his con­tro­ver­sial state­ment that the coun­try’s pow­er­ful spy agency ISI was ma­nip­u­lat­ing ju­di­cial pro­ceed­ings to get favourable de­ci­sions.

The Supreme Ju­di­cial Coun­cil (SJC) had rec­om­mended to re­move Jus­tice Shaukat Aziz Sid­diqui, who was fac­ing a case of al­leged mis­con­duct over his speech tar­get­ing the In­ter-ser­vices In­tel­li­gence (ISI).

He was sacked Thurs­day by Pak­istan Pres­i­dent Arif Alvi. Jus­tice Sid­diqui while ad­dress­ing the Rawalpindi District Bar As­so­ci­a­tion on July 21 had al­leged that the ISI was ma­nip­u­lat­ing ju­di­cial pro­ceed­ings to con­sti­tute panel of judges to get favourable de­ci­sions.

“To­day the ju­di­ciary and me­dia have come in the con­trol of ‘Ban­dook­wala’ (army). Ju­di­ciary is not in­de­pen­dent. Even the me­dia is get­ting di­rec­tions from the mil­i­tary. The me­dia is not speaking the truth be­cause it is un­der pres­sure and has its in­ter­ests...in dif­fer­ent cases, the ISI forms benches of its choice to get de­sired re­sults,” he had said.

The army had asked the chief jus­tice of Pak­istan to take the no­tice of the re­marks af­ter IHC chief jus­tice An­war Kansi re­jected the al­le­ga­tions against Sid­dique.

The mat­ter was re­ferred to the SJC, which is the body to take up com­plaints against judges of higher courts and

also rec­om­mend puni­tive ac­tions in­clud­ing re­moval from ju­di­ciary.

A five-mem­ber SJC bench, headed by Chief Jus­tice of Pak­istan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hear­ing the case.

The SJC af­ter hear­ing the case is­sued its de­ci­sion on Thurs­day, ask­ing Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan to re­move Sid­dique as his con­duct was un­be­com­ing of a judge.

“The Coun­cil is unan­i­mously of the opin­ion that in the mat­ter of mak­ing his speech...shaukat Aziz Sid­diqui, Judge, Is­lam­abad High Court, Is­lam­abad had dis­played con­duct un­be­com­ing of a judge of High Court and was, thus, guilty of mis­con­duct and he is, there­fore, li­able to be re­moved from his of­fice,” the panel said.

The 39-page opin­ion of the SJC was penned by Jus­tice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Later, the law min­istry is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion that the Pres­i­dent has re­moved Sid­diqui as IHC judge in the light of rec­om­men­da­tions of the SJC.

Sid­diqui’s lawyer Hamid Khan said that though there is no pro­vi­sion of ap­peal against the de­ci­sion of the SJC but he will take the mat­ter to the Supreme Court.

Sid­diqui is the sec­ond judge re­moved by SJC since re­moval of Jus­tice Shaukat Ali of La­hore High Court in 1973 for cor­rup­tion.

Most of the judges have opted to ten­der their res­ig­na­tion to avoid an SJC in­quiry. How­ever, Jus­tice Sid­diqui opted to face the charges of mis­con­duct.

Jus­tice Shaukat Aziz Sid­diqui

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