SC to hear former judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s plea against sacking


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed the court registrar’s objection against former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s petition against his removal from office.

The apex court further admitted the case for hearing as Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed held an in-chamber hearing of Siddiqui’s appeal against the registrar’s move.

On July 21, Justice Siddiqui had made a speech in which he had held the higher judiciary and the country’s premier spy agency, ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], responsible for the country’s ‘deplorable’ state of affairs.

On the same day, soon after Justice Siddiqui’s statement, the army had released a press release on the matter.

“An honourable judge of Islamabad High Court of Pakistan has levelled serious allegations against state institutions including honourable judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency. In order to safeguard the sanctity and credibility of the state institutions, Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate the appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take actions accordingly,” the statement had said.

The apex court then took a suo motu notice of the matter following which Justice Siddiqui asked the chief justice to constitute a judicial commission to probe his allegations and offered to resign if he’s proven wrong.

Earlier in October, the bench had reserved its opinion on whether to proceed further against the judge or send the recommendation to the president of Pakistan for his removal.

Siddiqui’s remarks had come just days before the SJC was to hold an open trial of a corruption reference against him, making it a first such case in the history of the country.

He was facing a reference on misconduct moved on the complaint by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged refurbishment of official residence beyond entitlement.

On Feb 22, SJC had issued a show cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on another reference against him for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments about some “important constitutional institution saying such comments prima facie had the tendency of undermining the respect otherwise such constitutional institution enjoys”.

Siddiqui had been removed from his position as high court judge for “displaying a conduct unbecoming of a judge by delivering a speech on July 21, 2018, at the District Bar Association Rawalpindi, [and] thus [found] guilty of misconduct”.