Additional attorney general Zahid F. Ebrahim resigns citing govt's 'attempt to browbeat judiciary'

Updated May 29, 2019

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Zahid F. Ebrahim alleged that the filing of references "is not about accountability of judges but is a reckless attempt to tar the reputation of independent individuals". — Photo courtesy: LMA Ebrahim Hosain
Zahid F. Ebrahim alleged that the filing of references "is not about accountability of judges but is a reckless attempt to tar the reputation of independent individuals". — Photo courtesy: LMA Ebrahim Hosain

Additional attorney general Zahid F. Ebrahim on Wednesday tendered his resignation to President Arif Alvi in reaction to the purported filing of references against some senior judges of the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court — a development he described as "reckless attempt to browbeat the judiciary".

The additional attorney general, in his resignation, said it was reported in the media that he [President Alvi] has directed "the Supreme Judicial Council to inquire into the alleged misconduct of certain senior judges of the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court under Article 209 of the Constitution on the pretext of undeclared foreign assets".

The same has been confirmed to me by persons at the highest levels of the government, he added.

Ebrahim stated that one of the "references is against a senior Supreme Court judge who is widely recognised for his unimpeachable integrity and against whom the government has already revealed its mind in the much publicised review petitions in S.M.C. No.7 of 2017 filed last month".

The state prosecutor alleged that the filing of references "is not about accountability of judges but is a reckless attempt to tar the reputation of independent individuals and could cause irreparable damage to the institution which is the protector of our fundamental rights and the bedrock of our fledgling democracy".

"In the view of the above, I cannot in good conscience continue in office," Ebrahim added.

It is pertinent to mention here that in April the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had filed a petition — S.M.C. No.7 of 2017 — against the Supreme Court's Feb 6 verdict on the 2017 Faizabad sit-in. In the petition, the PTI had accused the author judge of being "biased".