ISLAMABAD: A Lahore-based lawyer, who recently moved a reference against a Supreme Court judge, on Monday regretted that the judge concerned was not only heading a bench but also included in a bench presided over by the chief justice of Pakistan instead of facing the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) proceedings.
In a two-page letter to CJP Umar Ata Bandial, Advocate Mian Dawood urged him to fix his complaint for hearing before the council as early as possible so that a transparent inquiry can be conducted in time.
Through his complaint filed before the SJC against Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi under Article 209 of the Constitution, Mr Dawood sought an inquiry into his assets. In the meanwhile, he said, the judge should not be included in any bench or any case be fixed before him.
The complainant reminded the CJP of the reference filed before the SJC on Feb 23. He added that copies of the reference had also been dispatched to senior judges of the Supreme Court, namely Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood; Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan as well as all members of the SJC in addition to the CJP.
The complainant regretted that people’s trust in the top judiciary was being “eroded” by including the judge in question in different benches since the litigants may air their doubts about verdicts given by him.
“It is in the interest of justice and for the prestige of the superior judiciary that no case be fixed before the judge in question,” the complainant stated.
In his reference, the complainant alleged that the judge had used his position to facilitate his sons and a daughter studying abroad and
got financial gains from Zahid Rafique, owner of the Future Holdings company.
Mr Dawood stated that the judge “openly flaunts his relation with PTI and its leader Imran Khan”, adding that he claims to be “deadly against other political parties due to his personal grudges”.
According to the complainant, former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has admitted on many occasions to having PTI-related cases handled in their favour through the judge in question.
Mr Dawood also reproduced with the reference the transcript of a leaked audiotape purportedly featuring voices of Justice Naqvi with Mr Elahi.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2023