Monday June 17, 2024

Ex-SC judge Naqvi given another chance to present his case before SJC following resignation

All institutions, including Supreme Court, are accountable to people, remarks Supreme Judicial Council chief

By Maryam Nawaz
January 11, 2024
Justice (retd) Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. — SC website/File
Justice (retd) Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. — SC website/File 

Former Supreme Court judge Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi — who is facing multiple complaints of misconduct — on Thursday was given another chance to present his viewpoint before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on Friday.

The development came a day after Naqvi stepped down from his post due to “circumstances which are a matter of public knowledge and to some extent public record”.

The SJC served an intimation notice on Naqvi, whose resignation was accepted by President Arif Alvi earlier today, asking him to appear before the body tomorrow (Friday) if he wants to give his viewpoint against the complaints lodged against him.

During the course of proceedings, SJC Chairman Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked there could be two reasons behind the judge’s resignation: the complaint against the judge was false and he stepped down under pressure or the allegations were true and he did not want to face them.

“The question of judge's dismissal is now irrelevant,” he stated, adding that the council had just sent a report to the president.

"If allegations had been proven, then the council would have requested the president for the judge’s dismissal."

All institutions, including SC, were accountable to the people, remarked Justice Isa, adding: “If everyone learns this thing, all the problems will be solved.”

Meanwhile, the SJC, noting that Naqvi's lawyers would be heard if they requested, adjourned the proceedings till 11am tomorrow (Friday).

The former judge submitted his resignation hours after a three-member bench of the apex court rejected Justice (retd) Naqvi’s plea seeking halting of the SJC’s proceedings.

Several complaints of misconduct were filed against Justice (retd) Naqvi with the SJC by lawyers as well as the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) seeking his removal, particularly after his name surfaced in connection with an alleged audio leak.

It is important to note that the top court judge's name also surfaced in connection with the recent audio leaks purportedly involving him, former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi, and others.

Taking notice of the allegations, the SJC, on October 27 last year, issued a show cause notice to Naqvi.

In his response, the SC judge raised issues with the inquiry and called for CJP Isa and two other judges to recuse themselves from the matter.

On November 20, he contested the SJC proceedings and also challenged the show-cause notice issued to him by the council, saying the initiation of proceedings was coram non-judice and without lawful authority.

Subsequently, on November 22, a second show cause notice was served by the SJC, demanding a detailed response from the judge regarding the allegations raised by multiple petitioners.

Naqvi, then on January 4, filed a petition in the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, terming the misconduct complaints filed against him a direct and blatant attack on the independence of the judiciary — but it was dismissed.

Elevated to the top court on March 16, 2020, Justice (retd) Naqvi made headlines when in January 2020, as the Lahore High Court (LHC) judge, he ruled in favour of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.