Why has Mr. Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui been removed as IHC Judge?
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2018-10-12 10:21:35

Why has Mr. Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui been removed as IHC Judge?

 

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has been removed by the president of Pakistan Mr. Arif Alvi on the eve of Thursday. President removed the judge on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council.

According to details, the decision was taken under Article 209(5) on the SJC’s recommendation under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution, read a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice. “Consequent upon proceedings under Article 209(5) and recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973…… The President of Pakistan has been pleased to remove Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, from his office with immediate effect,” reads the notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Justice Siddiqi was facing a case of alleged misconduct filed against him in the wake of his controversial speech targeting the country’s top spy agency.

Justice Siddiqui Bashed Spy Agencies
A few months ago, Mr. Siddiqui lambasted at spy agencies of the country and held them accountable for many upsetting political and security challenges in Pakistan. Hearing the case of missing persons, the high court judge appealed to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa for “barring his persons from intervention in the matters of other institutions,” adding that the army chief should take notice of the alarming situation.

He claimed, “Judges’ lives are in danger as their telephones are being tapped by the officials of the security agencies”.

Addressing a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who appeared in the court, Mr. Siddiqui said: “Your personnel try to form a court bench of their own wish and the army chief should be aware of the misdeeds committed by them”.

Justice Siddiqi was facing a case of alleged misconduct filed against him in the wake of his controversial speech targeting the country’s top spy agency.

Mr. Siddiqui warned the spy agencies not to cross their constitutional limits and perform their duties according to the constitution of the country. Justice Siddiqi’s hard-hitting criticism of ‘secret ‘agencies came at a critical juncture. Just a day before Mr. Siddiqui made these comments, the CEO of Dawn Hameed Haroon was jolted by BBC’s Stephen Sackur when he leveled some allegations against the security agencies of Pakistan but was unable to provide any evidence. Similarly, Mr. Siddiqi blamed the security agencies for meddling into politics and judicial affairs but did not give any evidence to back his observations/claims.

Later on, the District Bar Association of Rawalpindi on July 23rd categorially distanced itself from the IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s controversial speech. President of the District Bar Association of Rawalpindi, Khurram Masood Kayani, and secretary general, Raja Amir, said Justice Siddiqui’s speech had nothing to do with the bar.

Furthermore, they clarified that the senior IHC judge had been invited to the bar to speak to young lawyers about legal ethics, but instead he “started mocking institutions in a speech”. ‘The bar condemns and “disagrees 100 percent” with his speech against state institutions’, the office-bearers said.

Mr. Siddiqui has remained in news for various reasons. Last year, Justice Siddiqi got upset over some blasphemous content on Facebook. He even directed the authorities to shut-down the social media site, if it does not work according to the laws of Pakistan. He further suggested to making the blasphemy law ‘tougher’. This judgment generated a huge debate on social media.

Almost a year ago, Mr. Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expressed displeasure over army’s role in the deal brokered between the protesters staging a sit-in at the Faizabad interchange and federal government. ‘In what capacity, the Army Chief assumed the role of guarantor in the agreement,’ inquired Justice Siddiqui.

Addressing a representative of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who appeared in the court, Mr. Siddiqui said: “Your personnel try to form a court bench of their own wish and the army chief should be aware of the misdeeds committed by them”.

Recently, Mr. Siddiqi issued a judgment and said that all citizens be easily identifiable by their faith and that applicants for public offices declare their beliefs before being considered eligible.

Mr. Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who penned the order, referred to Article 5 of the Constitution, saying it demands that citizens remain “faithful” to the state and “abide by the rules of law and Constitution.” However, he then interpreted Article 5 as the Constitution making it “mandatory” for every citizen, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, to declare their “true faith”, failing which they could be guilty of “betraying the State” and “exploiting the Constitution”.

Political commentators believe that Mr. Siddiqui made all efforts to avoid suspension till the end. However, the SJC was not influenced by any of his action. Mr. Siddiqui’s failure to satisfy the SJC has led to his immediate suspension from the service. There are some analysts who argue that Mr. Siddiqui was well-aware of his suspension. He created a scenario in which he would be able to save his face, saying his suspension was politically motivated like Nawaz Sharif who did the same after being convicted in Panama Papers case.

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Tags:   ISI ، IHC ، Shaukat Siddiqui ،
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