Islamabad - The federal government on Thursday announced filing a reference in Supreme Judicial Council against special court judge Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth for writing Para 66 in the detailed judgment of the high treason case against former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

This was stated by Law Minister Farogh Nasim at a joint press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Minister of State for Interior and Accountability Shehzad Akbar.

“The observation of Justice Waqar Ahmed in paragraph 66 of the detailed judgement indicates that he is incompetent and unfit for the job so the senior judges of the Supreme Court should restrain Justice Waqar Ahmed from any administrative and judicial work,” Farogh Nasim said.

The minister said a reference against a judge could not be filed over a judgement but one’s “mental health and competency could be challenged as per the rules set by former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry”.

The law minister said that Justice Waqar’s observation that law enforcement agencies should arrest Pervez Musharraf and if found dead his dead body should be hanged at D-Chowk in Islamabad for three days, which was against the law and the Constitution, and also unprecedented as well as despicable.

“This is unprecedented and despicable judgment. Public hanging is against the Constitution and Islam,” he added.

Referring to a past judgment by Supreme Court Justice Naseem Hasan Shah in which the “universal declaration of human rights in Islam” had been referenced as well as Article 14 which speaks of the “fundamental right of the dignity of man” was invoked, the law minister said it was ruled that public hangings were in contravention to the Constitution and Islam.

He said there was no room in Article 6 of the Constitution; in the High Treason Act, 1973; in the Criminal Amendment Act of the Special Court, 1976; for a judge to have authority to present such an observation.

“With due respect, this is an unprecedented, despicable and completely wrong observation by the judge,” he added.

The law minister then spoke of Article 209 under which Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had, earlier in the day, announced his intention for a trial against the judge.

Nasim said that Article 209 comes into effect when there is misconduct due to ‘incompetence’ or when there is ‘questionable mental capacity’.

“In Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s time ‘incompetence’ was added to the SJC rules as grounds for misconduct,” said the minister.

“Keeping in view Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth’s observations, the federal government has decided to approach the SJC and file a request stating that such a judge has no authority to be a judge of a high court or the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“He is unfit. When such observations are given which hurt court’s privilege, also becomes a test for administration of justice,” maintained Farogh Nasim.

“Our request is, because he has proven himself to be mentally unfit and incompetent, he must immediately be prevented from working. We request the Supreme Court judges to restrain him from any administrative or judicial work,” said the law minister .

Nasim said that any judge giving such observations is not only acting against the law but is proving himself to be counterproductive to the confidence that one must have in the judiciary.

“Very soon we will move a reference against the judge in the SJC under Article 209,” he concluded by saying.

Speaking on the occasion, PM’s aide on accountability, Shehzad Akbar, said he was “ashamed to read such an observation” and neither the Constitution, nor Islamic principles or international humanitarian law were taken into consideration while issuing such a directive.

“It is an issue of serious concern and other judges of the bench also did not support Justice Waqar Seth,” Akbar said, adding that he (Justice Waqar Seth) should immediately be stopped from performing his duties.

He said the treason trial against Musharraf was concluded in haste, which was unprecedented. “There are a lot of legal loopholes in the judgment,” he was of the view.

He said the government will fiel an appeal against special court’s decision, besides filing a judicial reference against the said judge.

“In view of the prevailing condition, there is need to establish harmony and unity in the country instead of pursuing personal vendetta,” Akbar added.

Justice Seth, in his separate note which was opposed by two other members of the bench - Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court - had called for a public hanging of the former military ruler if he meets a natural death.