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Judge’s luck on the turn makes him a litigant

ISLAMABAD, August 9: A judge of Islamabad’s subordinate judiciary became a litigant over the petty rent matter of some shops at Jinnah Super Market in Islamabad.

Civil Judge Mohammad Aamir Aziz Khan on July 13 while hearing a rent matter of over 20 shops of Jinnah Super reversed the rent controller order of increase in the rent from Rs8, 000 to Rs50, 000 per month.

The reversal was challenged by the owner of the shops Abdul Qadir Shaukat before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) single bench of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and the court on July 20 summoned him in the court.

Khan appeared in the chamber of Justice Siddiqui on July 23 and tried to defend his order but Justice Siddiqui observed, “The explanation of the civil judge was beyond the court’s comprehension as without making any justification he assumed the jurisdiction of the high court.”

The rent controversy started on May 5 this year when the rent controller of Islamabad fixed at Rs50, 000 the tentative rent of shops of Jinnah Super and adjourned the matter for June 8 for framing the issue.

The tenants, however, challenged the new fixation in the court of Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC). The IHC CJ Iqbal Hameedur Rehman on June 6 dismissed the petition at initial stage observing that there were no exceptional grounds to intervene into the interlocutory order of the rent controller.

The tenants then filed applications before the civil judge on July 13 and after hearing both the sides, he reversed the rent of the shops.

The contention of the counsels for the landlords was that the civil judge could not set aside the earlier order of the rent controller because the IHC CJ also did not pass any order against the increase in the rent and the high court was the right forum for seeking any relief in this regard.

Judge Khan on Wednesday filed an appeal against the order of Justice Siddiqui which was taken up by the IHC division bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan and Justice Mohammad Azim Khan Afridi on Thursday. The bench suspended the proceedings against the civil judge and adjourned the matter till a date to be fixed by the registrar office.

Saleemur Rehman, the counsel of Khan told the IHC division bench that his client despite being on the medical leave appeared before the single bench and responded to the queries raised by the court. He said that on July 13 the civil judge was hearing some fresh petitions of identical nature and the senior counsels from the both – tenants and landlords – were present in his court.

The tenants’ counsels informed the civil judge that the landlords obtained the order through fraud and the judge was quite competent to cancel the order of rent controller, Rehman added.

He further said the judge after perusal of record came to the conclusion that application regarding the matter was filed in November last year and was still pending for adjudication which was not in accordance with directions of the National Judicial Policy Making Committee and the guidelines given by the Supreme Court. He also requested the court for expunction of adverse remarks mentioned in the orders of Justice Siddiqui.

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