News Analysis |
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, the most senior Judge of Islamabad High Court (IHC), found himself in troubled waters on Monday when the chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar rejected his three applications. The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) headed by the CJP Saqib Nisar, rejected Justice Siddiqui’s request to seek the records of expenses incurred on the maintenance of official residences of all superior court judges from Capital Development Authority.
Justice Siddiqui is accused of spending more money on the refurbishment of his official residence than he was entitled to. A complaint in this regard had been filed with the SJC which conducts inquiries against judges on charges of misconduct by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
“I want to see the judge sahib leaving from here with a clean chit if there is nothing against him,” Justice Nisar
But the CJP rejected the Judge’s application, saying “there is no purpose behind summoning this record,” he observed, noting that the applications had not sought the record of a specific judge but of all superior court judges. He also observed that complying with such a request would expand the scope of the reference brought against Justice Siddiqui beyond reasonable limits.
Furthermore, the top judge also said that “I want to see the judge sahib leaving from here with a clean chit if there is nothing against him,” Justice Nisar said. “There will no bigger injustice than if a judge himself is not able to get justice,” he added.
Justice Siddiqui has been in news for his controversial remarks against the spy agencies of Pakistan. The analysts in Pakistan suggested that the top IHC was seeking ways to make reference against him controversial.
References Against Justice Siddiqi
It may be important to mention here that two references against Justice Siddiqui are pending at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The first reference pertains to a corruption case filed against him by an employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). In the second reference, the SJC questions his critical comments regarding the role of the Army during last year’s Faizabad sit-in.
Analyst opine while referring to justice Siddiqui’s anti-ISI allegation that he is trying to create an environment in which references against him become controversial and useless. He is apparently making efforts to be anti-establishment and anti-extra-democratic forces in the country so that he could become a hero in the eyes of public.
Justice Siddiqi Lashes out Against Spy Agencies
Recently, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui lambasted 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.
Justice Siddiqui blamed the security agencies for meddling into politics and judicial affairs, but did not give any evidence to back his observations/claims.
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, Justice 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 Siddiqui warned the spy agencies not to cross their constitutional limits and perform their duties as according to the constitution of the country. Justice Siddiqui’s hard-hitting criticism of ‘secret ‘agencies came at a critical juncture. Just a day before, 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, Justice Siddiqui blamed the security agencies for meddling into politics and judicial affairs, but did not give any evidence to back his observations/claims.
Justice Siddiqui Some Hard-Hitting Comments to Avoid References Against him
Justice Siddiqui has remained in news for various reasons. Last year, Justice Siddiqui was 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 make the blasphemy law ‘tougher’. This judgment generated a huge debate on social media.
Justice 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
Almost a year ago, Justice 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, did the Army Chief assume the role of guarantor in the agreement,’ inquired Justice Siddiqui.
Recently, Justice Siddiqui issued a judgement and said that all citizens be easily identifiable by their faith and that applicants for public offices declare their beliefs before being considered eligible.
Justice 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”.