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World
12 Oct 2018

Pakistan HC judge Shaukat Siddiqui sacked over remarks against ISI

Pakistan HC judge sacked over remarks against ISI

A senior Pakistani judge, who was in line to become Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court next month, was sacked for his controversial statement that the country's powerful spy agency ISI was manipulating judicial proceedings to get favorable decisions.

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had recommended removing Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who was facing a case of alleged misconduct over his speech targeting ISI.

In context

Pakistan HC judge sacked over remarks against ISI

Justice Siddiqui said ISI was manipulating judicial proceedings

Justice Siddiqui was sacked yesterday by Pakistan President Arif Alvi. Justice Siddiqui while addressing the Rawalpindi District Bar Association on July 21 had alleged that the ISI was manipulating judicial proceedings to constitute a panel of judges to get favorable decisions.

Media not speaking truth because it's under pressure: Justice Siddiqui

Justice Siddiqui says

Media not speaking truth because it's under pressure: Justice Siddiqui

"Today the judiciary and media have come in the control of 'Bandookwala' (army). Judiciary is not independent. Even the media is getting directions from the military," Justice Siddiqui had said.

"The media is not speaking the truth because it is under pressure and has its interests... In different cases, the ISI forms benches of its choice to get desired results," he had said.

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The SJC

Justice Siddiqui's matter was referred to Supreme Judicial Council

The army had asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take the notice of the remarks after IHC Chief Justice Anwar Kansi rejected the allegations against Siddiqui.

The matter was referred to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which is the body to take up complaints against judges of higher courts and also recommend punitive actions including removal from the judiciary.

Pakistan SC asked Imran Khan to remove Siddiqui

A five-member SJC bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the case. The SJC after hearing the case issued its decision yesterday, asking Prime Minister Imran Khan to remove Siddiqui as his conduct was unbecoming of a judge.

'Siddiqui had displayed conduct of unbecoming of a judge': SJC

SC's statement

'Siddiqui had displayed conduct of unbecoming of a judge': SJC

"The Council is unanimous of the opinion that in the matter of making his speech... Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad had displayed conduct unbecoming of a judge of High Court and was, thus, guilty of misconduct and he is, therefore, liable to be removed from his office," the panel said.

The SJC's 39-page opinion was penned by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Legal action

Will take the matter to Supreme Court: Siddiqui's lawyer

Siddiqui's lawyer Hamid Khan said that though there is no provision of appeal against the decision of the SJC, but he will take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Siddiqui is the second judge removed by SJC since the removal of Justice Shaukat Ali of Lahore HC in 1973 for corruption. The proceeding of the case against judge Ali went on for 10 months.

Cases against Pakistan SC judge, others pending with SJC

Interestingly, cases of misconduct against Chief Justice Nisar and three other judges of Supreme Court have been with the SJC for a long time but no proceeding has taken place. But the case against Siddiqui was decided after a preliminary hearing held in-camera.

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