Monday July 15, 2024

Justice Mazahar Naqvi seeks withdrawal of SJC's show-cause notices

SC judge requests his two constitutional petitions be placed before three-member committee so that it is fixed for a hearing

By Maryam Nawaz
December 04, 2023
Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. — Website/Supreme Court
Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. — Website/Supreme Court

Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi Monday requested the withdrawal of the show-cause notices against him in his reply to the notice received from the registrar about the misconduct complaints filed against him before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

The Supreme Court judge has also requested that his two constitutional petitions, challenging the revised show cause notices issued to him by the SJC, should also be presented before the three-member committee so they can be fixed for a hearing.

Justice Naqvi, in his reply, has also requested for his petitions and applications for interim relief to be numbered and fixed hearing before a court's bench.

"In view of the above, it is respectfully requested, that the subject notice be withdrawn, both petitions be placed before the Committee for appropriate orders and, thereafter, the petitions along with the applications for interim relief be numbered and fixed for hearing before a Bench of this Court," the reply mentioned.

The judge has sent a copy of his reply to the apex court committee as well.

Justice Naqvi also objected to the registrar inquiring him about proceeding with the case, stating that the notice received are ultra vires the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 and the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 (“2023 Act”).

"The Registrar has no authority to inquire from a petitioner whether he or she wants to proceed with a case or not. This notice is, therefore, without jurisdiction and of no legal effect," the reply stated.

Justice Naqvi, last week, approached the SC challenging the revised show cause notices issued to him by the SJC, which he contends, are “politically motivated complaints”.

The judge, through his legal team, has filed a petition against the revised show cause notice and the SJC proceedings being pursued against him. In the plea, he has also responded to the 10 allegations put forward against him.

In the petition, Justice Naqvi contends that the complaints against him are politically motivated due to the verdict on the Punjab elections taken after the suo motu proceedings initiated by former chief justice Umar Ata Bandial during the hearing of the Ghulam Mehmood Dogar case.

Misconduct complaints

Several misconduct complaints were filed against Justice Naqvi during the tenure of former chief justice Umar Ata Bandial. 

The then chief justice had tasked Justice Masood to examine the complaints and give his legal opinion.

Initially, the misconduct complaint against Justice Naqvi was filed with the SJC by a Lahore-based lawyer Muhammad Dawood. Later on, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Haroon Rashid filed a misconduct complaint against the SC judge after an audio leak emerged purportedly featuring a conversation about the fixation of the case before a particular bench or judge with former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi.

Earlier in April, Justice Isa and Justice Masood urged then CJP Bandial to convene the meeting of the SJC for the consideration of misconduct complaints filed against Justice Naqvi.

In a joint letter addressed to all the members of the SJC, both the judges had said that they were “waiting for you to convene a meeting of the Council to consider the complaints and to ascertain whether there is a substance in the stated allegations; we must exonerate the respondent judge and fully restore his honour or else submit our report in terms of the Constitution”.

Both the senior judges said that written complaints were received, including from the PBC alleging misconduct and financial impropriety by Justice Naqvi.