Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Order on maintainability of judge’s plea reserved

Updated Jun 17, 2017 09:15am

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday reserved its order on the maintainability of a petition filed by an additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) facing allegations of illegal gratification for acquitting the Axact fake degree scandal accused, Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh and his accomplices.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq will announce the order on Monday.

According to the petition filed through Advocate Arfat Chaudhry, a departmental promotion committee (DPC) of the IHC had observed that the ADSJ was reportedly involved in corruption in the case.

Pervaizul Qadir Memon was suspended by the IHC administration on June 7 and an office order and later a show-cause notice was issued to him on June 9 on the basis of the DPC’s observations.

The ADSJ challenged the order and the notice before the IHC, terming them unlawful.

The petitioner was asked to show cause in writing within 14 days as to why the major penalty of removal from service might not be imposed upon him.

The office order said that since the two members of the DPC had recommended the petitioner’s removal from service, the competent authority had decided to dispense with the inquiry proceedings.

The petitioner contended in the petition that the office order and show-cause notice had been issued in violation of several provisions of the Constitution’s Articles 4, 9, 10A and 18.

He announced the judgement on Oct 31, 2016 in ‘The State Vs Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh’ case. Mr Shaikh was booked in a first information report registered under Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 473, 109, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 36/27 of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance, 2002 and Section 4 of the Anti-Money-Laundering Act, 2010 at the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Circle, Islamabad.

Advocate Chaudhry said that based on the quality of evidence, the accused were acquitted through the judgement. He said the acquittal was not the result of summary proceedings as there had been a complete trial of the accused.

He said the ADSJ had learnt about the allegations when he was denied promotion recently.

“The two members of DPC passed an observation …….the later is reportedly involved in corrupt practice in the case of Axact decided by him and also in some other matters related to land grabbers etc. These issues require further consideration,” the petition quoted.

The petitioner refuted the two allegations in his reply.

Thereafter, he received a telephone call from the office of the registrar, informing him that the DPC meeting was being reconvened and he should appear before it and pleaded his innocence.

The petitioner told the court that he had been in the service of the judiciary since April 1996. In November 2011, the IHC requisitioned the services of various judicial officers serving in Sindh. Accordingly, the petitioner joined the Islamabad Judicial Service as ADSJ.

Since joining of the Islamabad Judicial Service, the performance of the petitioner had remained blotless, he said, adding that no allegation had been levelled against him with regard to his conduct or performance.

The petition said that the petitioner had apprised the DPC that he had conducted thousands of cases, including some very high-profile ones, and during his long career, not even a single complaint had been lodged against him.

The petitioner said that being a chronic patient of heart disease, he could not sustain the shock and eventually landed in the emergency department of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital. On the same day, he filed an application seeking 30-day medical leave with a permission to leave the headquarters. There had been no progress on the application, the petition said.

On June 7, the petitioner was suspended with immediate effect with the allegation of “admitted receipt of illegal gratification in case titled as The State Vs Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh”.

The petitioner contended that both assertions — receiving illegal gratification and admission pertaining thereto — were baseless.

The IHC registrar, while issuing the notification, had not annexed any material in support of the allegations, he said.

The petitioner requested the court to set aside the office order and show-cause notice and issue directives to the respondents to immediately process the request for leave.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2017