ISLAMABAD, June 11: Maulana Taqi Usmani, who remained ad hoc judge of the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court for two decades, was removed from the bench because of his financial interest in holding that all interest-based banking was un-Islamic.

A federal government official told Dawn that Maulana Taqi Usmani, a renowned figure in the field of Shariah, particularly in Islamic finance, held advisory positions in over a dozen financial institutions practising Islamic banking and finance.

The fact that he had financial interest in holding that “all interest-based banking is un-Islamic,” disqualified him from sitting on the bench.

The official said that allowing Maulana Taqi Usmani to sit on the bench was a violation of the well-known principle that “no person can be judge in his own cause.”

The official said that Justice Taqi Usmani currently held the following positions:

Chairman, Shariah Board, Citi Islamic Investment Bank, Bahrain; Chairman, Shariah Board, Amana Investments Ltd, Sri Lanka; Vice-Chairman, Shariah Board, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi; Member, Shariah Board, Dow Jones Islamic Market Index; Chairman, Shariah Board, Al-Meezan Commercial Bank Ltd; Vice President, Darul-Uloom Karachi; Deputy Chairman/ Permanent Member of Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah; Chairman, Centre for Islamic Economics, Pakistan, since 1991; Chairman, Shariah Council AAOIFI; Chairman, Shariah Board, IslamiQ.com; Chairman, Shariah Board, Saudi American Bank, Jeddah; Chairman, Shariah Board, HSBC, Global Islamic Finance, London; Chairman, Shariah Board, Robert Fleming Oasis Fund, Luxembourg. He was also a member of Shariah Board, Faisal Bank, till recently.

When approached to get his version, Maulana Usmani said that since he had no grievance at all against his removal from the Shariat Appellate Bench, he would not like to probe into the reasons. He further said that he would not indulge in the controversy whether or not those reasons were correct.