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July 24, 2018

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Lawyers’ bodies say have no truck with Justice Siddiqui

RAWALPINDI/LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council and the Rawalpindi District Bar Association Monday distanced themselves from the speech of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui terming it a violation of judges' code of conduct.

In his address to the Rawalpindi District Bar Association on Saturday, Justice Siddiqui accused that the country's intelligence agencies were interfering in matters of superior judiciary. In response to his speech, the Pakistan Army wrote a letter to the Supreme Court requesting it to take action against the serious allegations.

Addressing a joint press conference on Monday, the RDBA President Khurram Masood Kayani and Secretary General Raja Amir said Justice Siddiqui's speech had nothing to do with the bar. They said the senior IHC judge had been invited to enlighten young lawyers on legal ethics, but he "started mocking the institutions".

The bar condemns the speech against the state institutions, the office-bearers said. Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) denounced Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui's allegations, terming them a violation of judges' code of conduct.

They termed the remarks of Justice Siddiqui politically-motivated and demanded that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) immediately take action against him.

Addressing a press conference at Lahore, LHCBA President Anwarul Haq Pannu accompanied by former vice chairman of Pakistan Bar Council and its sitting member Ahsan Bhoon, said the utterance of such words did not suit a judge.

Ahsan Bhoon and Anwarul Haq Pannu said Justice Siddiqui's speech was against the code of conduct of a superior court judge.

"Justice Siddiqui violated the code of conduct," said Pannu. He said they respected him as a judge but his narrative was totally unacceptable. "It is quite clear that a political party backed it all," said Pannu.

"The responsibility rests with the Supreme Court and the Supreme Judicial Council to take timely action against him," he further said. He said it was the matter of respect and honor for the judiciary as an institution while the speech of Justice Siddiqui was being highlighted at the international level which, they said, was against the national security.

Anwarul Haq Pannu said it seemed that an international conspiracy was being hatched against the country which they would not let happen. They urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to look into the matter.

They said an inquiry against Justice Siddiqui was already pending with the Supreme Judicial Council. His speech, they said, amounts to dividing the lawyers community. They said the speech was made in full media glare showing that it was an agenda and that he had no evidence of what he had been speaking about.

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