Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Saturday made serious allegations against personnel of a security agency, claiming that they were manipulating judicial proceedings. He also claimed the agencies approached the IHC chief justice to ensure Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz remained behind bars for the elections.

"In today's era, the ISI is fully involved in manipulating judicial proceedings," Justice Siddiqui alleged, in a speech delivered before the Rawalpindi District Bar Association. "Their personnel get benches formed at their will."

The remarks made by Justice Siddiqui today are strong and unusual coming from a senior judge. While he alluded to agency interference in judicial matters, he did not provide evidence during his speech to support his claims.

He also claimed that the agency approached the IHC chief justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi and said: "'We do not want to let Nawaz Sharif and his daughter come out [of the prison] until elections, do not include Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on the bench [hearing Sharifs' appeals]'."

Today, without taking names, he alleged: "I know who takes whose message to the Supreme Court."

He asked: "Why was the administrative control of the accountability court taken away from the Islamabad High Court?"

He alleged that the judiciary's freedom has been divested and that it is now in control of "those with guns".

"I was told that 'if you assure us of decisions in our favour, we will end references against you'," Justice Siddiqui claimed.

He also claimed that he was offered to be made chief justice of the high court by September.

Two references against Justice Siddiqui are pending at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The first reference pertains to a corruption case filed against him by an employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). In the second reference, the SJC questions his critical comments regarding the role of the Army during last year's Faizabad sit-in.

The SJC will be holding an inquiry against Justice Siddiqui with regard to the above-mentioned references, which, unlike past inquiries will be in an open court.

Talking about his own accountability and corruption references today, Justice Siddiqui said that only the bar can truly hold him accountable and that his corruption references are highlighted "by a particular group" whenever he gives an important verdict.

He also said that he would resign if the bar found that he had been involved in corruption.

Justice Siddiqui further remarked that Pakistan cannot be compared to Europe or America but to India and Bangladesh. He stated that India is on the path to progress because the political process has never been halted there.

"50 per cent of responsibility of the country's current situation lies with the judiciary while other institutions are responsible for the rest," he remarked.

Opinion

Editorial

Police Lines bombing
Updated 31 Jan, 2023

Police Lines bombing

Where the menace of terrorism is concerned, the government and opposition need to close ranks and put up a united front.
Oil price hike
31 Jan, 2023

Oil price hike

THE record single-day increase in petrol prices, preceded by massive currency depreciation, signifies the ...
Babar Azam’s award
31 Jan, 2023

Babar Azam’s award

BABAR Azam might not have lifted many trophies as Pakistan’s all-format captain in the last year but the star...
Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...