The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Thursday unanimously recommended the removal of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

The senior IHC judge had levelled serious allegations on the intelligence agencies for interfering and ‘managing’ judicial affairs. “This Council is unanimously of the opinion that in the matter of making his speech before the District Bar Association, IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had displayed conduct inappropriate for a Judge of a High Court and was, thus, guilty of misconduct,” the council said.

The council was also of the view that Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was, therefore, liable to be removed from his office under Article 209(6) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. On August 1, SJC issued a show cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on alleged misconduct. On the same day Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had also contacted SJC’s Chairman Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to initiate appropriate process against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s remarks regarding interference of intelligence agency in judicial matters

“After having examined the record and also the opinion of our brother Honourable Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and upon thoroughly discussing the matter, while taking into consideration the material mentioned above, we are inclined to issue a show cause notice to the respondent-Judge (Justice Siddiqui) and send the relevant material to him calling upon him to explain his conduct within a period of 14-days,” stated order of SJC, authored by SJC Chairman Mian Saqib Nisar.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chief justice had, on July 22, taken serious notice of Justice Siddiqui’s remarks. On July 23, chief justice had also directed IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi to furnish his comments upon the veracity of the allegations levelled against him by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

“The allegations levelled in the speech cast aspersions and malign the superior judiciary of the country and berate its independence. It also implicates honourable IHC chief justice and some other national institutions,” the press statement issued from top court's office said.

Justice Siddiqui, in his controversial speech addressing the Rawalpindi Bar Association, had claimed that an agency approached the IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to ensure that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz remain in jail till the election.

While addressing the Rawalpindi Bar Association, Justice Siddiqui had said that the judicial proceedings were being manipulated. He claimed that an agency had approached the IHC chief justice and told him that they don’t want release of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter before elections.

“I know how messages have been conveyed to the Supreme Court. I know where the record of proceedings of the accountability court was sent every day and why the statutory provisions allowing the IHC to exercise administrative control of the accountability court was ceased. This was to stop the IHC judges to monitor the trial proceedings,” said Justice Siddiqui.