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ISLAMABAD: Former judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui told the Supreme Court that he has no contacts with army officials and he made his speech to defend judiciary.

A five-judge larger bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Tuesday, heard the petition of Siddiqui against the recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the notification of the federal government for his removal.

Representing the ex-judge, Hamid Khan argued that the SJC can only investigate the misconduct of a judge, but it cannot remove judge.

He said the former judge had submitted a reply to the SJC’s show-cause notice, wherein it was claimed that DG ISI Faiz Hameed came to his house.

Justice Mazhar Alam Khan questioned whether the inquiry means that the SJC itself should record the statement.

Hamid Khan said the SJC should examine all the record and the evidence before it.

He said after the show-cause notice his client was removed from the post, which was based on “mala fide”.

He said that “some forces” wanted to “target” his client by all means.

The DG ISI asked his client to withdraw the order to remove encroachment from green belt near Aabpara, according to Hamid Khan. The counsel also alleged the Lt-General Faiz Hameed also tried to “influence” the Panama case.

Justice Bandial said it is quite surprising that the DG ISI had told the judge all this.

He said the ex-IHC judge was annoyed with the DG ISI but he ridiculed the judiciary.

He (Siddiqui) should have defended his own institution.

“Think of those institutions which are working for the protection of the judiciary,” added Justice Bandial.

Hamid Khan contended that the bars also work for the protection of the judiciary.

Upon that Justice Bandial said the bars work according to their own policies, adding that they accept that the bars assist the judges. He said due to the criticism by bars Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman resigned as a judge of the Supreme Court.

He said that the former judge was unhappy and disturbed because of some other issue but criticised his own institution (IHC) and its chief justice.

He asked Hamid Khan whether his client accepted the fact that he had been meeting with the DG ISI.

He twice met him as he had some contact with him, Hamid Khan replied.

At that, the ex-IHC judge Siddiqui came to the rostrum and said that he does not have any contacts with army officials.

“Despite many dangers, I am still living in Islamabad with my family,” he stated.

Justice Bandial told the judge that they know that he is an honest man.

During his submissions Siddiqui became emotional.

He said the then Chief Justices of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and Asif Saeed Khan Khosa always wanted to remove him.

The ex-judge said he made a speech to defend the judiciary and expose the black sheep in it.

In his 11-page submission, the former judge contended that he had been excluded from Division Bench-1 since October 2017.

“The timing makes it obvious that this was a calculated move to exclude me from regular DB-I, since appeals regarding the politically-sensitive Panama Papers case were to be heard during this time,” he said.

Siddiqui submitted that on three different occasions, he met with the CJ IHC to know the reasons for such an inexplicable turn of events.

“The [ex-IHC] CJ on two occasions mentioned the reason i.e. pendency of references against me before the SJC and once an order from above (i.e. ooper walooun ka hukam).

“From the start of the Panama cases, it was ensured that I must not be part of any DB, so that the writ petitions arising out of the Misc Applications before the AC may not come before me, even inadvertently.

“On 27-06-2018 Brig Irfan Ramay came to my residence and desired that I may review my order of clearance of road and green belt falling in front of ISI Headquarters. On my refusal, he showed annoyance.

“Major General Faiz Hameed in his first visit on 29-06-2018 …asked me what would be my view in case the appeals [against the judgment and conviction by NAB court of Nawaz Sharif in the Panama case] come before me? I replied the cases will be decided as per oath administered to every judge and purely on merits. He [Gen Faiz] then replied, this way their two years’ hard work will be wasted.”

The case was adjourned until Thursday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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