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Shaukat Siddiqui moves SC against his 'unlawful, biased' termination as IHC judge

Updated October 26, 2018

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The ousted judge contended that he was terminated without completing the due process.— DawnNewsTV/File
The ousted judge contended that he was terminated without completing the due process.— DawnNewsTV/File

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who earlier this month was sacked as a senior puisne judge of the Islamabad High Court, challenged his termination in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday.

President Arif Alvi had terminated Siddiqui on October 11 after the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) found the then IHC judge "guilty of misconduct" over a speech he delivered in July before the Rawalpindi District Bar Association.

Justice Siddiqui in his petition contended that he was terminated without a due process and that his ouster was done without [the SJC] fulfilling legal prerequisites.

The ousted judge mentioned that no inquiry had been conducted into his remarks regarding alleged interference by the country’s premier spy agency in the judicial proceedings.

Siddiqui also raised a number of questions on legality of the actions taken against him, saying he wanted to highlight additional grounds in support of his petition at the time of its hearing at the Supreme Court.

In his appeal, Siddiqui stated: "In view of the historical evolution of procedure for removal from high public office through an impeachment under the public gaze and open proceedings, the action against the petitioner [Siddiqui] is violative of rule of law and judgements of the Supreme Court of Pakistan."

The former IHC judge also claimed that SJC members were biased against him, saying that his removal "in an illegal manner was part of [a] preconceived plan of the worthy chairman of the SJC who intended to deprive the petitioner judge [Siddiqui] from becoming the chief justice of [the] Islamabad High Court. A plan is now afoot to bring 'his man' as a chief justice of [the] Islamabad High Court This is itself sufficient ground to establish the malafide exercise of power by the Chairman."

Siddiqui pleaded the apex court to withdraw the notification of his removal and restore him as IHC judge.

On July 20, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had 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.

On July 31, the SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on the reference for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments by accusing the establishment of manipulating the judicial proceedings.

The SJC took up the matter after considering that such comments prima facie had the tendency of undermining the respect otherwise due to such constitutional institutions.

On Oct 11, a letter written by the SJC had emerged, in which the council, comprising five Supreme Court judges, had said it found Justice Siddiqui guilty of misconduct over a speech he delivered in July. Later in the day, President Arif Alvi removed him. According to a statement, issued by the federal law ministry, the president took the decision after the SJC recommended his removal.