Supreme Court hears ex-judge Siddiqui’s petition against his removal today

ISLAMABAD     –    The Supreme Court of Pakistan will take up today the petition of former judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial will conduct hearing of  Shaukat Siddiqui’s petition against the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)  recommendations and the federal government notification for his removal on the basis of his speech made at the District Bar Association, Rawalpindi on July 31, 2018.

Shaukat Siddiqui was removed by president of Pakistan subsequent to the Supreme Judicial Council report. He had filed petition under Article 184(3) read with Articles 187 and 190 of Constitution in October 2019, praying that Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) report and notification be set aside and he may be restored as judge of the Islamabad High Court. In his petition, Siddiqui contended that he had been deprived of his constitutional and legal rights including protection under Articles 4, 10A and 25 of Constitution which resulted into the   report of SJC and the notification.

He submitted that the report of Supreme Judicial Council is not a judicial decision and it has the nature of an advice. The president (the Cabinet) has to apply its mind and make a decision. However, in the instant case, admittedly no cabinet meeting was held wherein; the report of SJC was considered for submission to the president. IHC ex-judge stated that on one hand, the SJC observes that it is only examining the propriety of the making of speech but on the other hand, it goes on to discuss each and every allegation in their entirety and gave findings thereon in the absence of evidence or an opportunity of fair trial and due process to the petitioner.

The former judge of the IHC had allegedly propagated a report against armed forces and judiciary in his speech before the Rawalpindi Bar Association on July 23, 2018.

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