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March 13, 2018

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IHC’s Justice Siddiqui replies to SJC show-cause

ISLAMABAD: A day before his appearance before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Monday submitted his reply to the show-cause notice issued regarding his remarks against military by the Council, insisting that the complainants in the case are only “proxies” about whom he has the evidence.

He said that armed forces cannot go beyond the constitution under which the federal government has control and command of the forces and no the other way round. Informed sources said that Justice Siddique, who has recently been issued show-cause notice by the SJC over his remarks in the court considered against the military, in his reply said, “The complainants, Jamshed Dasti, MNA and Miss Kulsoom Khaliq Advocate, are only ‘proxies’. In fact these complaints have been brought at the behest of somebody else. I have un-rebutted evidence to this effect, which I shall produce if need be during the course of evidence.”

Justice Siddiqui, who was already facing SJC proceeding in another case, told the SJC, “It is, however a sad reality that different operators have always made me victim through different devices. I submit it with all humbleness that my conscience is clear and my hands are clean. I have committed no wrong whatsoever, and remarks or observations made during the course of hearing do not constitute misconduct.” He added if someone has any objections to any observations recorded in any order or judgment passed on judicial side same can be impugned in appeal and the Supreme Court can expunge any remark or observation in accordance with the judicial norms and practices.

Justice Siddiqui questioned the agreement, which was signed to end Islamabad sit-in recently, and said that all institutions including armed forces are creatures of the Constitution and, therefore, cannot be deemed to go beyond the Constitution under which the federal government has control and command of the armed forces and not the other way round.

He reminded that Article 243 of the Constitution requires the armed forces to act under the directions of the federal government to defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war and subject to law act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so. The constitutional courts, he added, have an obligation that the federal government performs its functions in accordance with the Constitution and that the institutions working under its command do the same.

He added that in his understanding the disputed agreement cannot be described as an administrative arrangement. It was rather an unconstitutional document reduced into writing under circumstancesnot conducive to Constitutional framework and the rule of law. In his understanding, he said, the disputed agreement cannot be described as an administrative arrangement. It is rather an unconstitutional document reduced into writing under unbecoming circumstances.

The IHC judge said that acts like signing of agreement or distribution of money among the demonstrators by a senior official cannot be termed constitutional duty of such official. In fact, due to such unwarranted acts of a few individuals, respect for the entire institution, which is a part of executive, has suffered, he said.

Justice Siddiqui said that it is a matter of record that, the leadership of sit-in used most abusive, derogatory and filthy language about the superior courts, honorable judges of the Supreme Court and worthy Chief Justice of Pakistan. He asked, “How could such remarks go unnoticed by any judge, as it was against the dignity, honour and prestige of the judiciary as an institution?”

Justice Siddiqui said that he neither has acted in violation of the provisions of the Article 209 of the Constitution nor did contravene any of the clauses of Code of Conduct prescribed by the SJC. He added that since no details of any remarks or observations alleged against him, if any, as judge of Islamabad High Court have been mentioned in the show-cause notice, therefore, he was not in a position to give any specific reply or advance any explanation.

Although Justice Siddiqui requested the SJC that show-cause notice may be discharged, he also referred to the earlier show-cause notice issued to him on 16th May 2016 press for open trial against him.

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