Justice Siddiqui had alleged country’s secret agencies were interfering in day-to-day business of higher judiciary
Islamabad: Former puisne judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who was terminated earlier this month by President Arif Alvi on the recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Commission (SJC) — the highest forum for judges’ accountability —over charges of misconduct, has challenged his termination in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Justice Siddiqui was removed from office for delivering a speech in July this year at a Rawalpindi District Bar Association’s programme and for levelling serious allegations against Pakistan’s secret service agencies.
SJC went into action after his speech went on air and consequently, he lost his position.
On Friday, in a petition filed in the apex court, Justice Siddiqui has held that SJC has not taken into account the content of his address, nor held any inquiry into the allegations.
He contended in his petition that he was terminated without due process of law and that the SJC sacked him without fulfilling the legal course, without giving him a chance of defence; he wanted to raise additional points in support of his petition.
Justice Siddiqui had alleged in his July speech that Pakistan’s secret agencies were frequently interfering in the day-to-day business of the courts and were even giving names to chief justice of his court for formation of certain benches.
In his petition, the ousted judge said: “In view of the historical evolution of procedure for removal from high public office through an impeachment under the public gaze and open proceedings, the action against the petitioner is violative of the rule of law and judgements of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
He has also claimed that SJC members were biased against him and his removal was not only illegal, but part of a plan by SJC’s Chairman, who intended to deprive the judge of becoming the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court.
It may be mentioned here that Karachi Bar had passed a resolution condemning his unceremonious exit, saying it seemed the SJC held the proceeding as a cover-up and instead of probing the allegations against the judge, it proceeded against him.
Ironically, the lawyers and their representative bodies in Islamabad and Rawalpindi where Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui spent his entire judicial career first as lawyer and then as judge did not pass any resolution in solidarity with him.
He was the same judge that turned down General (retd) Musharraf’s bail application in 2013 and held he should be tried in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) for holding judges hostage in their homes.