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Monday, April 15, 2024

Justice Ijazul Ahsan resigns

He had served as the monitoring judge for the implementation of the Panama-gate case verdict.

In a surprising turn of events, Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan tendered his resignation on Thursday, following the resignation of Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi a day earlier. Justice Ahsan, who was poised to become the next Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) after CJP Qazi Faez Isa, submitted his resignation in a letter addressed to the president, stating, “I no longer wish to continue as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.” The resignation, effective immediately under Article 206(1) of the Constitution, did not provide a specific reason.

Earlier in the day, President Dr. Arif Alvi accepted Justice Naqvi’s resignation, who had resigned amidst allegations of misconduct and an ongoing Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) inquiry. Naqvi had faced a show-cause notice in October of the previous year, and his request to halt the proceedings was rejected by the apex court on Tuesday.

Letter to SJC members

Justice Ahsan, a member of the five-member SJC, had abstained from joining the council in issuing a fresh show-cause notice to Justice Naqvi on November 22, 2023. In a letter to the SJC members on Tuesday, he expressed regret over the lack of discussion and deliberation during the proceedings, criticising the hasty nature of the process. Justice Ahsan disagreed with the proceedings, stating that they cast doubt on the entire process and that a more reasoned and deliberative approach should have been adopted.

The letter also refuted the merit of the allegations against Justice Naqvi, deeming them baseless in both law and a prima facie assessment of the facts. Justice Ahsan highlighted the need for a more thoughtful approach to prevent errors in the council’s decisions.

More to read; 860,000 Pakistanis left the country in 2023

Justice Ahsan, known for his involvement in the Panama-gate case that led to the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2017, expressed disagreement with the process and manner in which recent proceedings were conducted. He had served as the monitoring judge for the implementation of the Panama-gate case verdict.