- Chief Justice Nisar orders IHC CJ to obtain evidence from judge regarding allegations against ISI
- Says Siddiqui will be administered justice, judiciary being maligned by certain quarters
- Bar councils distance themselves from judge’s speech, say they ‘100% disagree’ with allegations against spy agency
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said the judiciary was being maligned by some quarters, as he ordered the Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice to explain his stance on Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s allegations against the ISI, the country’s powerful military intelligence agency.
In a statement issued by the office of the CJP, the top court also directed IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to obtain evidence from Justice Siddiqui to substantiate the allegations levelled in the speech that Pakistan’s state institutions, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was meddling in judicial affairs.
Furthermore, the court has also obtained the transcript and record of the speech delivered by Justice Siddiqui at an event hosted by the Rawalpindi Bar Association on Saturday.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan Army in response to the speech had asked the Supreme Court to “take action against serious allegations against the judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency”.
In response, Justice Siddiqui wrote a letter to Chief Justice Nisar to constitute a judicial commission to probe his allegations. The letter read that a retired judge of the apex court, who did not take oath under PCO, should head the commission.
The statement issued by the CJP’s office on Monday said that the allegations levelled in the speech cast aspersions and malign the superior judiciary of the country and berate its independence, adding that it [the speech] also implicates the chief justice, IHC and some other national institutions.
If obtained, material and evidence and the comments of the IHC chief justice will be transmitted to the office of the CJP for consideration and appropriate action, the statement read.
BAR COUNCILS DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM TIRADE:
On the other hand, the District Bar Association of Rawalpindi on Monday distanced itself from Justice Siddiqui’s speech.
Addressing a joint press conference on Monday, the bar’s president, Khurram Masood Kayani, and secretary general, Raja Amir, said Justice Siddiqui’s speech had nothing to do with the bar.
They said the senior IHC judge had been invited to the bar to speak to young lawyers about legal ethics, but instead he “started mocking institutions in a speech”.
The bar condemns and “disagrees 100 per cent” with his speech against state institutions, the office-bearers said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Kamran Murtaza and PBC Executive Committee Chairman Shabir Shar have endorsed the demand of his fellow member Raheel Kamran Sheikh that full court should hear IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s matter.
In his speech, Justice Siddiqui had claimed that members of ISI had approached the IHC chief justice seeking assurances that Nawaz, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar would remain behind bars till July 25.
Justice Siddiqui is currently facing two separate references at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which he alleged in his speech were orchestrated against him because of delivering verdicts against a certain quarter of the state.
The IHC judge, however, failed to provide any proof to substantiate his claims.
SIDDIQUI WILL BE ADMINISTERED JUSTICE:
Moreover, Chief Justice Nisar on Monday said that justice will be delivered to Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.
The CJP gave these remarks while hearing the suo motu case against Justice Siddiqui’s speech.
On Sunday, Chief Justice Nisar had taken notice of the speech and summoned the record of Justice Siddiqui’s speech from PEMRA.
During court proceedings on Monday, the CJP asserted that no conspiracies have been hatched against the country and no harm will come to the country as long as the judiciary is powerful.
Justice Nisar read out the oath in the courtroom and assured the petitioner that nothing was being done against the country and Pakistan will be blessed until the presence of this powerful judiciary.
He asked the petitioner to submit his petition if he wanted to as notice has already been taken on the issue.
Later in the day, the CJP remarked that efforts are being made to malign the country’s judiciary.
While addressing an event in Lahore, he said, “I had promised the nation that I won’t let democracy be affected until there is Supreme Court. I had promised the nation that I will keep the country’s democracy out of harm’s way.”
“Pakistan will be weakened if the judiciary is weakened,” he said, adding that it would be quite deplorable if the country’s judiciary gets a bad reputation.
‘NEXT PM SHOULD BE HONEST’:
He further remarked that he had also promised that the elections will be held on time.
While speaking about the general election, Chief Justice Nasir said that he hopes that Pakistan’s next prime minister is an honest and trustworthy person.
He also shared that Tahira Safdar should be the next chief justice of Balochistan High Court.