Supreme Court Declares Removal Of Former IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ‘Illegal’

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The Supreme Court deemed the dismissal of former Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as “illegal,” asserting that he should now be recognized as a retired judge. The decision was delivered by a five-member bench of the apex court, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, in a comprehensive 23-page judgment. The bench, comprising Justices Amin-ud-Din Khan, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Irfan Saadat Khan, underscored key aspects of the case.

The verdict highlighted that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had proceeded against Justice Siddiqui under the assumption that the veracity of the allegations he had leveled was irrelevant. It also observed that the SJC contended that Justice Siddiqui had failed to substantiate or independently corroborate the allegations he made. Notably, the judgment acknowledged the gravity of the accusations made by the former IHC judge against then ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed and certain subordinates.

However, the judgment pointed out a critical flaw in the proceedings, noting that Justice Siddiqui was not afforded the opportunity to validate his allegations or confront those he had accused. Upon recognizing this deficiency, the bench issued notices to all individuals implicated by Justice Siddiqui and allowed them the chance to refute or admit the allegations. Subsequently, all parties denied their involvement, underscoring the necessity for the SJC to thoroughly investigate the matter and ascertain the truth.

The judgment emphasized that Justice Siddiqui was not granted the opportunity to substantiate the veracity of his claims, a fundamental aspect crucial for a fair and just determination. It highlighted that Article 10A guarantees the right to a fair trial and due process, including for judges. Furthermore, it underscored that Justice Siddiqui was deprived of his fundamental rights to a fair trial and due process, contrary to Article 209, which does not authorize the SJC to act in contravention of these rights.

The ruling represents a significant reaffirmation of the principles of fairness and due process within the judiciary, underscoring the importance of upholding fundamental rights even in cases involving allegations against judges.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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