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National

July 22, 2018

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Bars divided on Justice Siddiqui’s allegations

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s allegation of interference in judicial matters has put the country’s high court bar associations to a real test dividing them sharply on their support for him.

The Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) and Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) have pledged their support for Justice Siddiqui if his allegations proved right.

However, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) and Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) have denounced Justice Siddiqui’s allegations. The Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Kamran Murtaza has demanded a highest level of commission to investigate the matters.

He feared that if the allegations levelled by an honorable judge of IHC proved true, then it will make the General Elections 2018 controversial.

“This issue will be exploited by the international community that how our agency is meddling in local politics; therefore, the agency should come forward and prove these allegations wrong. If these allegations proved right then I am afraid the international community will not accept the general elections 2018 result because most of the allegations (levelled against the agency) are related to their interference in political cases,” said Kamran Murtaza.

He said the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) will take up this issue next week and announce its future strategy, but this issue should under no circumstance be put under the carpet.

“We need to probe this issue thoroughly, otherwise it will create problems for Pakistan at the international level,” he said.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has convened an emergency meeting of its Executive Committee to discuss this issue on July 27 where it will announce its future strategy with regard to this particular issue.

Talking to The News, SCBA President Kaleem Ahmad Khursheed said since Justice Siddiqui’s allegations were of very serious nature and the SCBA could not ignore them, he had convened a meeting of the executive committee.

The committee will discuss the matter and present its future course of action on this particular issue.

Talking to The News, Sindh High Court Bar Association President Muhammad Saleem Mangrio President says, “Historically judges are approached by the agencies in several cases pertaining to their interests. We have past examples when judges have openly admitted that they have been approached by the agencies and Justice Naseem Hassan Shah is the prime example of this. If Justice Siddiqui’s allegations prove right then it is sheer violation of rule of law and the Constitution of Pakistan, and in this scenario the SHC will fully support Justice Siddiqui,” he said.

He said the agency against must come forward and challenge these allegations.

“If these allegations are not challenged then they will be considered right and under these circumstances the SHBA will fully support Justice Siddiqui,” Mangrio said.

President Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) Shah Muhammad Jatoi said the courts were approached by agencies and there was no doubt about that.

“Justice Siddiqui’s allegations are of serious nature and these must be probed. The agency must come forward and prove these allegations wrong. Balochistan High Court Bar Association has always stood by the truth and if Justice Siddiqui’s allegations proved true then the bar association will support him in his just cause,” commented Jatoi.

Talking to The News, Lahore High Court Bar Association President Anwarul Haq Pannu said Justice Siddiqui had violated the judicial code of conduct by openly accusing the agency.

“Everyone knows a close relative of Justice Siddiqui is Nawaz Sharif’s right hand. His allegations are politically-driven which don’t suit a high court judge. If someone from the agency had approached the honorable judge then he should have informed his own chief justice instead of publically accusing the agency. The Lahore High Court Bar Association will not support Justice Siddiqui in this case,” he said.

Talking to The News, Peshawar High Court Bar Association President Abdul Fayyaz said the institution was the main reason the country was still united but such kind of allegations against the agency were an attempt to malign this institution.

“Being president of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association I condemn such allegations and the bar will not support Justice Siddiqui in this case. In my entire career I have never seen any instance when a judge is approached by the agencies. I am sure someone will file a reference against Justice Siddiqui for maligning the institution,” he said.

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