Monday October 02, 2023

SJC should hold open court proceedings against judges: SCBA

July 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has demanded conducting of proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) in open court instead of in-camera proceedings.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday at Supreme Court, President SCBA Amanullah Kanrani said as cases of high officials of government as well as parliamentarians are heard in open court hence the SJC should also conduct proceedings against judges in open court instead of in-camera proceedings.

He further demanded that the SJC should also make public the outcome and decisions taken in complaints filed against 426 judges of the superior courts and ensure Article 25 of the Constitution that guarantee equality stating that all people are equal before law and entitled to equal protection of law.

He said that Article 175(1) has lost it utility as the dream of appointing the judges in higher judiciary on merit basis was not yet materialised. "Hence we demand repeal of 19th constitutional amendment and restoration of clause of 18th constitutional amendment in its true spirit", Kanrani said.

He further said the present composition of SJC is contrary to law, adding that as a low grade officer cannot take disciplinary action against a high grade officer than how a judge of a high court can decide the matter of suspension of a judge of a Supreme Court. He said that the opinion of two high court judges in the Council will have decisive status hence he demanded amendment in Article 209 of the Constitution under which the Council has been established, adding that till the required amendment, proceedings against any judge of the Supreme Court in the SJC be halted.

The SJC is the only constitutional forum, established under Article 209 of the Constitution, mandated for the accountability of judges of higher judiciary for misconduct. The Council consists of Chief Justice of Pakistan, the two next most senior judges of the Supreme Court and the two most senior chief justices of high courts.