ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has turned down Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi’s request to grant a stay against the proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which has issued show notice to the judge for amassing illegitimate assets and misconduct.

The court directed the petitioner to file an amended petition impleading the complainants as party in the instant matter.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Aminuddin, and comprising Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Mussarat Hilali heard the petitions of Justice Naqvi against the show-cause notices issued by the Council. The Supreme Court judge has requested the bench to declare the initiation of proceedings by the SJC as coram non judice, without lawful authority and of no legal effect and quash the same.

The Council led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprises two senior judges of the Supreme Court - Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan and two chief justices of High Courts i.e. Chief Justice Lahore High Court Muhammad Ameer Bhatti and Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Naeem Akhtar Afghan will resume the proceedings Wednesday (Jan 10).

Four complaints have been filed against Justice Naqvi before the Council by Mian Dawood, a Lahore-based lawyer, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Lawyers Forum, Punjab, PBC Vice Chairperson Haroon Rasheed and Council’s Chairperson Executive Committee Hasan Raza Pasha and Advocate Ghulam Murtaza Khan, for amassing illegitimate assets and misconduct.

Justice Amin said how come they grant a stay as they are only hearing the preliminary objections. “We have not yet touched the merit of the case,” he added. He asked Makhdoom Ali Khan, who was representing Justice Naqvi, that first, he had raised objection on the composition of the bench, and then opposed the impleadment of complainants as respondents.

Makhdoom argued that recently, the Council has dismissed 19 complaints without calling the complainants. He said if the Court will issue notice to the informer then it would expose itself to the public.

Justice Amin told him that they are hearing the matter under Article 184(3) of the constitution. He questioned whether the petitioner wanted the case be proceeded according to his desire, adding the pleading should be confined only to the SJC’s proceedings. He further said that since the complaints have been mentioned in the petition then the bench would have to issue notice to them.

Justice Amin said after hearing him they have come to the conclusion that without impleading the complainants the Court cannot proceed in the matter. Justice Jamal questioned how without hearing the other side we can say that your point of view is correct or wrong. Justice Mussarat reminded Makhdoom that they are hearing the instant matter not under Article 204 of the constitution.

Makhdoom contended can or does an informer have the right to appear before the Court? The matter of contempt is between the Court and the contemnor and the informer/complainant has nothing to do with contempt. Entertaining the contempt petition does not give right to the complainant to appear before the Court.

Upon that, Justice Jamal remarked in this petition the informer will face the consequences, but in the contempt, this does not happen. Therefore, in proceeding under Article 184(3) of the constitution the informer has the right to plead before this court, he added.

Justice Amin said the pleading of the petitioner revolves around the complaints. Justice Jamal said if the Court declares that the complaint is false or frivolous then it will be a judgment against the complainant, and in light of that the contempt, civil or criminal proceeding could be initiated against him.

Makhdoom said it is not in the petitions that the complaint is mala fide or biased and dismissed it. He said the Court is compelling him to say that as there is no informer before it then how to decide the petition and when there will be any informer before the Court the it can decide the matter. He argued if the Council had dismissed 19 complaints then whether it has denied anyone’s right.

Justice Jamal said they always say that no one should be condemned unheard. He said the apex court judges’ also have to be accountable to the people of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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