LAHORE - In one of the rarest case, a senior judge of Lahore High Court was issued show cause notice yesterday by the Federal Ombdusman Secretariat for Protection against Harassment of women at workplace to explain as to why he interfered into the jurisdiction and authority of the ombudsman office.

Federal Ombdusperson Justice (r) Yasmeen Abbasi issued show cause notice to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah under section 18 of Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reform Act 2013.

She passed the order after three police officers DSP Secretariat Idrees Rathore, SHO Kohsar Mohammed Bashir, Additional SHO Abdul Razzaq along-with two lady constables entered the office of Federal Ombudsman with intrusive and invasive behaviour.

On the other hand, Justice Shah while hearing a contempt petition against the Federal Ombudsman Yasmeen Abbasi yesterday observed that police officials do not care a fig about courts’ orders.

During the hearing, DSP Yaseen Rathore told the judge that IG Islamabad was busy therefore he could not appear. Justice Shah summoned the IGP Islamabad to appear in person on today (Friday) to explain the compliance of the courts’ orders.

Previously, Justice Shah had issued non-bailable arrest warrant of federal ombudsman for disobeying court’s orders.

The officials at the Ombudsman office said that the police officials who entered the office were asked as to how without permission they entered the office of Federal Ombudsman, and were told to leave the office room. However, they refused to follow the orders and informed the Federal Ombudsman that she was under arrest.

At this, Federal Ombudsman Yasmeeen Abbasi immediately contacted the IGP who directed all the police officers through a phone call to leave the office. Later, she was informed that the above incident happened as a result of orders passed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.

In the show cause notice, the federal ombudsperson observed that under section 18 of Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reform Act 2013 “no court or authority shall have jurisdiction to entertain a matter which falls within the Jurisdiction of an Ombudsman nor any court or authority shall assume jurisdiction in respect of any matter pending with or decided by an Ombudsman.”

It is the first time in country’s history that an ombdusman has used his power of issuing show cause notice to a sitting judge of the superior courts.

The show cause notice states: “By means of orders dated 12-02-2016 and 30-03-2016 Justice Mansoor not only assumed jurisdiction in the matter but the said honourable judge went a step further by issuing non bailable warrants of arrest in a matter over which the High Court had no jurisdiction to interfere. “Through such colourable exercise of jurisdiction, the learned judge has deliberately attempted to unduly and illegally harass and pressurise the Federal Ombudsperson from discharging her legal responsibilities without fear, favour or undue influence.”

The notice further stated: “In the instant case Justice Mansoor intentionally went much beyond his jurisdiction in violation of article 2A, 4, 5 and 175 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, although, this was not a case where High Court has by any stretch of imagination a parallel jurisdiction. However, even in matters of parallel jurisdictions, the relevant forums exercise restraint and try to resolve the issues amicably without ever resorting to tactics of arrogance and high handedness.

“The aforesaid judge seems to be clearly negating such norms and etiquettes, which are contained in Article II of Code of Conduct of Supreme Court and High Court Judges.”

"A judge should be God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful of tongue, wise in opinion, cautious and forbearing, blameless, and untouched by greed. While dispensing justice, he should be strong without being rough, polite without being weak, awe inspires in his warnings and faithful to his word, always preserving calmness, balance and complete detachment, for the formation of correct conclusions in all matters coming before him.

“It is, thus, absolutely clear that the aforesaid judge has abused and misused his authority,” the notice further read.

The officials at the Federal Ombudsman said that as a matter of abundant caution, the above violations were also brought to the knowledge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan by means of CPLA 498 of 2016 wherein a notice was accordingly issued by the Apex Court to the Attorney General, so that the unpleasant situation is averted.

They said, however, despite the above order, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah continued to hamper and undermine the dignity and functioning of this office.

It all began last year in November after the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Yasmeen Abbasi was investigating a complaint by a lady lawyer against her male colleague in an alleged matter of harassment. The lawyer got stay order from the LHC and sought explanation from the federal ombudsman.

Later, in November last year, Justice Shah ordered an Islamabad SSP to ensure the Ombudsman’s presence and issued a contempt notice under section 17 of Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 when she failed to appear.