News Desk |
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa cleared the air on the issue of Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa by saying that the government could not remove the superior court judge and only the Supreme Judicial Council would fairly deal with the matter.
“Trust the judges. They will ensure justice [in the matter],” CJP Khosa said while responding to a query about Justice Isa at the Cambridge University in the UK. The Cambridge University Union had invited CJP Khosa to deliver a speech on June 9.
The SJC had issued a notice to AGP in order to obtain his legal assistance in deciding the maintainability of references.
Recently, the federal government through President Arif Alvi had filed references against the Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Sindh High Court judge Justice K K Agha before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) over non-disclosure of their spouses’ foreign properties in their wealth statements.
CJP Khosa refused to comment further on the matter, saying the reference would be heard by the council and a notice has only been issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan for June 14. He added that the SJC has yet to decide the maintainability of the matter.
While expressing his views on other issues, Justice Khosa said model courts had proven to be promising for the quick provision of justice. He said that the judges needed to keep the circumstances and the family of the convicts while handing down the sentences.
He said whether it was martial law or a democratic system in the country, the judiciary had been constantly striving for the rule of law. “If the system is not fully functional in ensuring justice, the judiciary is not responsible for that. Our society is struggling to ensure the rule of law,” The Express Tribune quoted him as saying.
The Cambridge University Union had invited CJP Khosa to deliver a speech on June 9.
CJP Khosa first Pakistani to deliver speech in Cambridge University Union’s 200 years’ history
Interestingly, the media reported, CJP Khosa happens to be the first Pakistani ever to have been invited by the Cambridge University Union to deliver a speech in its history of 200 years.
According to APP, the luminaries invited in the past include Sir Winston Churchill, Presidents Roosevelt and Reagan, the Dalai Lama, Senator Bernie Sanders, Stephen Hawking, Antonin Scalia, and Margaret Thatcher to name a few. The guests invited by the Union this year include the Malaysian and Nepalese prime ministers.
Justice Khosa had completed his Tripos and LL.M. from the University of Cambridge before being called to the Bar at the Lincoln’s Inn, London.
Composition of CJP Khosa-led Supreme Judicial Council
The SJC – a constitutional body tasked with scrutinizing the conduct of superior court judges – is the only forum for initiating action against judges over misconduct. It consists of five top judges. Composition of the SJC will be very important in this matter.
While expressing his views on other issues, Justice Khosa said model courts had proven to be promising for the quick provision of justice.
Currently, CJP Khosa, who is retiring in December, is the chairman of the council. Other members are: Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh and Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth.
Legal experts say the addition of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed as SJC member will be significant as “he is going to retire in August”. Justice Gulzar is said to be the future chief justice of Pakistan. On last hearing, the SJC had issued a notice to AGP in order to obtain his legal assistance in deciding the maintainability of references.
After AGP’s legal assistance, the legal experts said, the council may issue show-cause notices to the judges with directions to submit their reply within a specified time period. The SJC can initiate a trial if the replies are not satisfactory.
According to Rule 10(2) of SJC Procedure, Inquiry, 2005, “The council may require the AGP or any other counsel to appear and assist the council in relation to smooth and efficient conduct of its proceedings.”
Reference against ex-CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
Previously, in 2007, President Musharraf had, on recommendation of the then Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, filed a reference of misconduct against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chauhdry. It was related to alleged influence peddling by the Chief Justice for his son Arsallan Iftikhar who entered civil services of Pakistan through a very twisted route and was promoted at exceptional speed.
SJC had taken up the matter but it remained inconclusive when lawyers’ movement broke out and a suspended CJP Chaudhry was restored by the full bench of Supreme Court. However, privately all legal experts agreed that reference was properly filed and if SJC had heard the case then Iftikhar Chaudhry could not have explained his position.