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“If we don't protect institutions, who will?”


During the hearing of the case of removal of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in the Supreme Court, Justice Umar Ata Bandial told Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui that he had expressed his hatred in his speech. You chose a public forum to make complaints about people. We have to defend the institutions of the country. If we don't protect institutions, who will? This is the new way to make everything public.

A five-member larger bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the case in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui's lawyer said that Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui tried to meet the Chief Justice four times but could not.

When the hearing began, Justice Mazhar Alam Mian Khel asked whether the current reference was made by the Supreme Judicial Council itself. On which Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui's lawyer Hamid Khan said that this reference was not sent by the President. The council has taken notice.

On this, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the Supreme Judicial Council did not take notice of itself but took action on receipt of the complaint.

Hamid Khan said that the Supreme Judicial Council dismissed the judge on the basis of show cause notice and his answers. Referring to the presidential reference of Justice Qazi Faiz Issa, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that time is short and do not go into such details.

Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that the existence of this speech, its text, its facts are all known. You vented your hatred in the speech.

Justice Mazhar Alam Mian Khel said that all the material was before the Supreme Judicial Council and it was not denied.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked Hamid Khan to answer only two questions. Was the speech a violation of the judge's code of conduct? Also explain to us whether the council needed further investigation.

On this, Hamid Khan said that he had applied for an open trial in the Supreme Judicial Council which was rejected. He is given a number of procedures to protect the judge's tenure. There should have been an investigation so that the truth would come out.

Justice Ijaz said that in the constitution, no judge can be removed by the Prime Minister or Parliament. The term of the Supreme Judicial Council is to protect the tenure of a judge. Wouldn't it have been better to have been informed of the concerns in the event of an attack on the institution?

On this Hamid Khan revealed that Shaukat Siddiqui tried four times to meet the Chief Justice of Pakistan. But this request was not accepted and no meeting was held.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said that it should be accepted that what Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said was true. So shouldn't they have settled the matter within the judiciary? Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui should have taken notice of contempt of court on such a matter.

Hamid Khan replied that even if Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui did not take his name, it was a crime. When the matter came to the notice of the Chief Justice, he too did not take notice of the contempt of court.

He said that Shaukat Aziz should do whatever he has to do against Siddiqui. However, those whose names he has mentioned in his speech should also be asked.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that if Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had sent a report to the Chief Justice, he would have acted on it. However, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui did not do anything like that. There are many other aspects of the independence of the judiciary when it comes to intervention. If one judge does wrong, the trial of the whole judiciary begins.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial further said that Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui's use of public forum for interference was wrong. Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui kept quietly meeting the officials of the secret services. If he could have written a letter to the Chief Justice to form a bench as a judge, why not?

Hamid Khan said that what was happening with Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui. He showed courage by telling the people. On this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that to tell the people is not to dare to lay down arms.

Hamid Khan said that the purpose of Shaukat Siddiqui's speech was not to discredit the judiciary but to improve the system. The Supreme Judicial Council feared that my client would call the generals if an investigation was launched. To avoid this danger, the Supreme Judicial Council made such statements against my client.

Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that we think of June 30. Ordering that the case be fixed for hearing as soon as the bench becomes available.

The case was later adjourned indefinitely.

Case background

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was a judge of the Islamabad High Court and was known for his stern statements. However, during a speech at a meeting of the Rawalpindi District Bar Association on July 21, 2018, he sharply criticized Pakistan's ISI and accused it of being pressured by the intelligence agency to make decisions.

In this regard, the High Court had removed him as a judge under Article 209 of the Constitution on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in this regard but several times his appeal could not reach the court.

He also requested the Chief Justice for an early hearing on the delay in hearing the appeal. However, the case of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was delisted several times after which the case of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has been heard in recent days.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had alleged that he was awaiting retirement so that he could not take up the post of judge again.

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