The Supreme Judicial Council recommended sacking of former Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui for misconduct liable to removal from service under Article 209(6) of constitution while making a speech in District Bar Association Rawalpindi on July 21, 2018, where he accused ISI for “manipulating judicial proceedings”. The Constitution of Pakistan forbids scandalizing judiciary and army, while it simultaneously restricts both these institutions and all other paid members of civil bureaucracy not to be seen indulging in active politics. Earlier a 5 member bench of SC headed by Honorable CJ Saqib Nisar and other respected judges had recommended Justice Shaukat Aziz removal. 

Now that judiciary has penalized a brother judge for violating constitution, it is hoped that the other institution follows suit and take action against their peers for unconstitutional acts done. The history of Pakistan would have been different if Quaid’s emphasis upon superiority of constitutional rule prevailed and Justice Munir had not authored judgment based on Law of Necessity. Former CJ Nasim Hassan Shah is on record for having accepted his role in controversial verdict to hang former elected PM ZAB, in a split decision. People remember picture of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry sitting alone with several uniformed members of Musharraf junta and events that followed. 

During our 70 year turbulent history, Pakistan has been under unconstitutional rule for over 35 years. References against serving judges have been sent to SJC for almost six times. Four were filed when country was under military rule and other two by civil governments, starting in 1951 against Justice Hassan Ali Agha and the second now against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui. In 2007 a 13 member bench of Supreme Court quashed the reference filed by President retd Gen Musharraf against CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry. 

TARIQ MALIK,  

Lahore, October 12.