ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, senior counsel Hamid Khan asked the Supreme Court to adjudicate the appeal of former Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui against notice of his dismissal before June next, a date when he would have resigned, if he had been in office, on Oct 11, 2018.
However, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who led a five-judge Supreme Court bench, directed the court office to re-list the case on January 2021, along with other relevant matters, but with an assumption that before June 2021 the case will be resolved.
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The court also directed the office to notify senior counsel Rasheed A Razvi as well as Salahuddin Ahmed, who filed separate petitions on behalf of the Karachi Bar Association and the Islamabad Bar Association, of the objections to their petitions raised by the office.
According to its last order of Sept. 24, Hamid Khan, who represented the former judge, reminded the bench that the court had delayed another hearing for a month, but after more than two months, the case was taken up again on Wednesday.
Justice Siddiqui also wrote a two-page letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed, on November 30, requesting the requisite orders for the court office to hear his appeal at an early stage.
However, Justice Bandial reminded the lawyer that even now when major cases like this were fixed for hearing, the court could not complete its daily roster.
In view of the case of Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Bandial noted, the whole judicial function at the Karachi and Lahore registries had actually been halted because the judges holding courts in these cities had to come to the main seat of Islamabad.
But we must be glad to know that the bar associations were behind significant cases, Justice Bandial noted, while evidently pointing to the filing of petitions in the cases of Justice Siddiqui as well as Justice Isa by various bar associations.
Justice Bandial noted that the court wished to have effective law and hoped that with the aid of the senior lawyers, the court would also learn enough to draw the correct decision.
Rasheed A Razvi pleaded before the court that he had not been told by the court office of what paragraphs of his petition they felt were scandalous so that he could file an amended petition, while Salahuddin Ahmed claimed that he had already filed the amended petition on the basis of his guess work, but the court office had not numbered it.
The Islamabad Bar Association pleaded before the court in its amended petition to order an impartial and open investigation into the allegations raised by Justice Siddiqui in his speech on July 21, 2018.
While speaking at the Rawalpindi District Bar Association, the former judge reflected on the role of some State Executive Board officers especially ISI, in the judiciary’s affairs. He believed that the formation of the high court benches has been abused by them.
The petition alleged that the supreme court should direct appropriate action against the individuals involved even though the charges were considered to be correct by the inquiry committee.
The petitioner also requested that the apex court should set aside the report or opinion of Oct 11, 2019 of the Supreme Judicial Council and the subsequent notice of the same date of its dismissal, as the judge should also be considered null and void.