AGP, accused judges skip SJC hearing


–Apex body calls off meeting within 10 mins 

–Lawyer bodies observe partial strike 

ISLAMABAD: The second hearing of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) pertaining to the misconduct references against top judges Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Sindh High Court’s Justice KK Agha ended within 10 minutes, as neither the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) nor the accused judges appeared before the council.

A five-member SJC bench comprising Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Justice Waqar Ahmed and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh heard the references filed against the two judges.

In its first sitting, the bench had sent notices to the judges and the attorney general.

The government had filed references against two in the SJC in May after complaints were received against them of concealing their assets. President Arif Alvi had forwarded the references to the SJC following which the top judicial forum sought AGP Mansoor Ali Khan’s assistance over the complaint.

Justice Isa is accused of allegedly possessing three properties in the name of his wife and children and Justice K. K. Agha of the SHC is said to have in his possession two properties in the United Kingdom.

The decision to try judges in the SJC was condemned by the lawyer bodies across the country, which called out the government for filing the reference against the judges with a mala fide intent.

In this regard, the Supreme Court Bar Association President Amanullah Kanrani had given a call to observe July 2 as a ‘black day’ in protest against the reference.  A partial strike was also witnessed at the Islamabad High Court Bar and the district bar association; however, lawyers appeared for some urgent cases.

On June 15, the legal fraternity led by the SCBA wore black bands in solidarity with the judges and also burned copies of references.

It is newsworthy that the SJC is the only constitutional authority mandated by Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan to conduct inquiries into allegations of incapacity or misconduct against a judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court.

It comprises the incumbent chief justice as chairman, two senior-most Supreme Court judges and two senior-most judges of the high courts as members.