KARACHI: A complaint was filed in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Friday against the eight Supreme Court judges hearing the petitions challenging a proposed law to curtail the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan.

The reference, filed by lawyer Mian Dawood, sought the removal of CJP Umar Ata Bandial and justices Ijazul Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Muham­mad Ali Mazhar, Ayesha A. Malik, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Shahid Waheed over alleged misconduct and deviation from the judges’ code of conduct.

The reference came a day after the eight-judge bench barred the government from enforcing the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023, which was yet to be signed into law.

In a 10-page reference, the complainant accused the judges of being guilty of “serious misconduct” under Articles III, IV, V VI and IX of the code of conduct for judges and Article 209 of the Constitution, which outlined the composition and working of the SJC.

In his complaint, Mr Dawood also questioned the recent SC proceedings, saying the conduct of the eight judges proved they were “publicly involved in controversies surrounding their judicial conduct”.

The chief justice had fixed the petition before “a like-minded bench”, which heard the matter and suspended the bill “against all constitutional, legal, requirement, practices and norms,” the complainant said, adding that the “orchestrated, post-haste and planned” petitions challenging the proposed bill were “filed by political actors from one side in the present political crisis”.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2023

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