SJC moved against IHC judge after degree controversy

Published July 6, 2024
A file photo of Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri of the Islamabad High Court. — Picture via IHC website
A file photo of Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri of the Islamabad High Court. — Picture via IHC website

ISLAMABAD: In respo­nse to a letter circulating on social media purportedly from the Karachi University’s (KU) controller of examinations regarding the law degree of Islam­a­bad High Court (IHC) jud­ge Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahan­giri, and the subsequent filing of a reference with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), the IHC is expected to issue an official statement to the campaign against the judge.

Sources said that IHC judges will convene a meeting on Saturday (today) to discuss the matter.

On Friday, several social media activists and journalists shared the letter and the reference against Justice Jahangiri allegedly sent to the SJC.

Judges and senior IHC officials were informed about the letter, and the court administration offer­­ed to issue a rebuttal, sources said. However, Justice Jahangiri has not yet approved this action. Sources also claimed that the IHC administration had contacted Karachi University regarding the matter.

The letter, which was widely shared on social media, is reportedly a response from KU to an application seeking information under the Sindh Transparency Right to Information Act, 2016. It stated that candidate Tariq Mehmood obtained his LLB degree in 1991 under enrolment number 5968. However, Imtiaz Ahmed enrolled in 1987 under the same enrolment number, while the transcript for LLB Part I was issued under the name Tariq Jahangiri.

Moreover, Tariq Mehmood enrolled for LLB Part I under enrolment number 7124. The letter did not declare the degree bogus but termed it invalid, explaining that the university issues one enrolment number for the entire degree programme, making it impossible for a student to have two enrolment numbers for one programme.

Justice Jahangiri is among six judges who previously complained to the SJC about their own chief justice and accused the Inter-Services Intelligen­­ce (ISI) of interfering in judicial affairs. The complaint included allegations of spy cameras being detected at the entrance and bedroom of a judge, a matter that was reportedly conveyed to the chief justice but to no avail.

Justice Jahangiri came into the limelight in May last year when he provided blanket protection to former prime minister Imran Khan in criminal cases, barring the police from arresting him even in future cases.

Recently, he was hearing election petitions from PTI runners-up from Islamabad. However, the winning PML-N candidates expressed no confidence in the judge, accusing him of bias in favour of PTI candidates. They filed applications with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which transferred the election petitions to a tribunal established under a presidential order amending the Elections Act.

However, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq suspended the ECP’s order and remanded the election petitions back to Justice Jahangiri. These petitions are scheduled for hearing on July 9.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2024

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