ISLAMABAD: Justice Umar Ata Bandial has revealed that an incident like that of former Islamabad High Court Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has taken place before but the incident was reported to the Chief Justice. .
Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that the judge concerned had the courage to report the incident.
Dawn newspaper reported the Justice Umar Ata Bandial did not identify the judge who intervened in the affairs of the judiciary, legal experts that are involved Islamabad High Court in the incident and required against them Action was taken.
He says this means that efforts to restrict the independence of the judiciary have not ended.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial was presiding over a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court which heard Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s appeal against the opinion of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the notification dated October 11, 2018. He was removed from the post of Islamabad High Court judge on July 21, 2018 after giving a speech at the District Bar Association in Rawalpindi.
The former judge’s statement in the court in which he mentioned his meetings with ISI director Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, refuted the federal government’s denial. However, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan observed that the government’s response was not here. Exists and has nothing to do with the current case.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that the court had nothing to do with the government’s response and senior lawyer Hamid Khan, who was representing the former judge, should pay attention to the questions raised by the judges.
This observation was made when Hamid Khan Khan reminded the court that the affidavit of the former judge had been returned by the Registrar’s Office of the Supreme Court but the government’s vague reply was made part of the record.
The lawyer argued that the Supreme Judicial Council, in its opinion, gave a negative opinion against his client without giving him an opportunity to explain his position.
“If the SJC had inquired into Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui before issuing the show cause notice, he could have had the opportunity to record evidence and cross-examine witnesses, especially intelligence officers,” he said.
However, Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that the former judge went to the wrong forum and stressed that when a judge speaks in public, he is seeking help from the people and the bar.
He recalled that Justice Qazi Faiz Issa had written three letters to the President requesting him to provide a copy of the reference against him which he had learned from the media but he denied that he Never bring a copy of these letters to the public.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said, “There is no realistic controversy in the present case as no one has denied that Justice Shokar Siddiqui had spoken at the bar.”
He lamented that the former judge had neither informed the Chief Justice of Pakistan nor the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court about the interference of intelligence officials.
Justice Omar Ata Chandial observed that “if we go public to voice our concerns, feelings and grievances, we are not doing our job of strengthening the judiciary.”
Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that there are many countries where judges are impeached by the parliament while in Pakistan it is decided by fellow judges instead of executives or legislators.
He questioned why there was a need to inquire when speaking at a bar was a recognized fact.
Hamid Khan argued that an exemplary concept of protecting the independence of the judiciary could only be achieved through a transparent process.
Justice Omar Ata Bandial said, “Don’t you think that instead of individual action by the judge, the joint response of the entire institution will repel the perceived attack on the judiciary and be a better way to help prevent interference?”
The lawyer replied that his client had tried to meet the Chief Justice four times but he was not given the opportunity.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said that the former judge did not give anything in writing.
The lawyer argued that he was concerned that contempt of court proceedings had not been initiated by the Chief Justice of the High Court against the intelligence officers, which put the entire burden on the shoulders of Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.
The court remarked that only the judge concerned could initiate contempt proceedings or the Chief Justice who was informed of the incident.
Justice Omar Ata Bandial observed, “You are saying that we should initiate contempt proceedings. We will do so if we feel the need but we do not want to get into it right now.”
The court later adjourned the case till June 30.