Deposed IHC judge again moves SC seeking early hearing of plea

By Mudassar Ilyas Kiyani

ISLAMABAD : Former Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Thursday again moved the Supreme Court for an early hearing of his petition against his removal by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) two years ago.On October 11, 2018, President Arif Alvi removed Justice Siddiqui as IHC judge on the recommendation of the SJC. The president took the decision under Article 209(5) on the SJC recommendation under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution, a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice stated.The council had unanimously opined that while delivering the speech before the District Bar Association in Rawalpindi on July 21, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, an IHC judge, displayed conduct unbecoming of a high court judge.Siddiqui, who is retiring on June 30 requested the SC to fix his case on June 1 for day to day hearing.The former judge in his application narrated how his case is being delayed.It is pertinent to mention here that since 2018 no substantial proceedings took place except the issuance of notice after two and half years in January 2021. The matter got delayed for unknown reasons which is apparent on the face of the record inasmuch firstly frivolous office objections were raised against which a Miscellaneous Appeal bearing No. 140 of 2018 was filed which came up for hearing before a Larger Bench. The Hon’ble Larger Bench vide order dated 25.03.2019 allowed the said Miscellaneous Appeal and directed the office to number the titled Constitution Petition and set down the Petition before the Bench, read the application.

It further added that that on September 24, 2020, the matter was once again adjourned by the bench with a direction to the office to fix the same after one month. Again, the case was not fixed as directed by the Hon’ble Bench. The Petitioner was compelled to write a letter to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan for the fixation of the titled case at earliest. Taking notice of the said letter the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan was pleased to fix the case for December 9, 2020.On December 9, 2020, the bench after proceeding with the matter very briefly in the connected petitions filed by the Bar Councils directed the office to fix the cases in January 2021 after objection therein were met. The office fixed the case on last day of January 28, 2021.That on 28.04.2021 an application for early hearing was filed by the petitioner and case got fixed for 17.05.2021 but unfortunately it got de-listed to be fixed on 26.05.2021 surprisingly again it got de-listed before few hours of hearing without any reason stated, the application further stated.That the Petitioner since his removal from office has not been employed for gain. The Petitioner like millions of other citizens has been guaranteed fundamental rights including but not limited to the rights to life, due process, dignity and access to justice. It is universally recognized principle that justice delayed Is Justice denied. The Petitioner has suffered immense irreparable loss due to the inordinate delay, the judge pleaded.

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