Former Supreme Court judge Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi has said that after his resignation, the Supreme Judicial Council has “no jurisdiction to initiate or continue with any proceedings” against him, it emerged on Friday.

The former judge is facing an inquiry over allegations of misconduct, a show-cause notice for which was issued in October last year.

In a letter penned to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and all top court judges in December, he had stated that the treatment meted out to him by the SJC was “nothing short of disgraceful”.

After the apex court last month rejected his request to stay the proceedings, Justice Naqvi had tendered his resignation citing “circumstances which are a matter of public knowledge and to some extent public record”. His resignation was subsequently accepted by the president.

However, the SJC continued with the proceedings against him even though it awaits the outcome of an intra-court appeal by the federal government challenging an SC judgement (Afiya Shehrbano Zia) related to the jurisdiction over retired or resigned judges.

The 2023 apex court verdict had held that judges who retire or resign do not fall within the ambit of Article 209 of the Constitution that determines misconduct of superior court judges.

A day ago, the SJC was told that a private developer, Lahore Smart City (Pvt) Ltd, issued one of the two banker cheques of Rs50 million each for buying a residential plot in favour of Justice Naqvi. The council is set to resume the hearing today (Friday).

In a letter to the SJC secretary, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, Justice Naqvi said that he was conveyed the council’s order dated January 12 which showed that proceedings against him continued despite him having resigned and no longer remaining a SC judge after President Arif Alvi accepted his resignation.

The letter emerged on Friday and was not dated.

Noting that the council was continuing with the proceedings under Article 209 of the Constitution, he stated: “This is to inform that as per the law and the Constitution as it stands today as well as past precedents, the SJC has no jurisdiction to initiate or continue with any proceedings under Article 209 of the Constitution in any matter pertaining to a person who is no longer holding the office of superior court i.e. high court or Supreme Court.”

The former judge further said that the January 12 order and subsequent proceedings were “illegal and without lawful authority”. He asserted that the SJC was “acting beyond its jurisdiction”.

“Therefore, I am neither obliged nor legally or constitutionally bound to participate in these proceedings which are without constitutional domain,” Justice Naqvi wrote.

Noting that Khawaja Harris Ahmad was representing him before the council, he said the power of attorney extended to the lawyer was “no more in [the] field and has become infructuous” as he was no longer a SC judge.

“However, to resolve any ambiguity in this regard, the power of attorney is hereby withdrawn and stands cancelled by the undersigned. You are therefore requested to inform the SJC accordingly,” the letter stated.

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