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Thursday December 09, 2021

Siddiqui challenges SC registrar’s objections to his affidavit

June 17, 2021
Siddiqui challenges SC registrar’s objections to his affidavit

ISLAMABAD: The sacked judge of the Islamabad High Court, Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to set aside the order of its registrar, raising objections to his affidavit as well as record pertaining to his petition challenging his removal by the president of Pakistan.

Siddiqui had filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) under Order XXXIII Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980. The Registrar Office on June 9, 2021 had returned the paper books of the CMA on the ground of being not entertainable purportedly under Order XVII Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980 for containing scandalous material/language. The sacked judge submitted that the order of the assistant registrar (CIVIL –II) is notsustainable as the ground on which the CMA has been returned is totally unsustainable. “There is no scandalous material or language used in the CMA and thus there is no application of Order XVII Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980),” the sacked judge contended. He submitted that the CMA contained an affidavit sworn by him containing the same material which is part of the additional reply of the petitioner to a show cause notice.

“There is nothing added to the affidavit, which is not already on the record in his additional reply to the show cause notice, hence no new material is being introduced through the CMA,” Siddiqui submitted. He said the same statement contained in the additional reply he had submitted is provided under the affidavit being filed with the CMA.

The sacked judge contended that in any case, the assistant registrar did not apply his mind to the contents of his affidavit and did not compare the contents of the affidavit with his additional reply to the show cause notice. He submitted that the affidavit being filed with the CMA has direct bearing on the facts and merits of the case and is essential for the hearing of the case and the affidavit being placed on the record fully meets the requirements of the relevant provisions of the Supreme Court Rules 1980.

He prayed to the apex court that his civil miscellaneous appeal may kindly be accepted and the objection taken in the order of the assistant registrar (Civil-II) dated 09-06-2021 may kindly be set aside and that the CMA with the affidavit attached thereto be kindly numbered and placed on the record of the constitutional petition 76 of 2018.

It is pertinent to mention here that Siddiqui in his affidavit had submitted that ISI Chief General Faiz Hameed and another official had visited his house, asking him to review his order of removing encroachments alongside green belts and the ISI headquarters. Similarly, he had submitted in the affidavit that he had been excluded by the then chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court from the division bench 1 since October 2017, adding that this was a calculated move to exclude him from the regular DB-1 since appeals regarding the politically sensitive Panama Papers case were to be heard during this time.

Last week on June 11, a five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial had adjourned the hearing for date in office (indefinite period). Justice Umer Ata Bandial had observed that they are very much cautious of June 30 whereby the petitioner is going to retire and for this purpose, the instant matter will be fixed again for hearing subject to the availability of the bench.

Siddiqui had challenged before the apex court the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), recommending his removal from his post for misconduct as well as a notification of the government issued on October 11, 2018, terminating his service. The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had recommended removal of Siddiqui from his office for leveling serious allegations against the state institutions including judiciary and the premier intelligence agency during a speech at the District Bar Association Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi on October 11, 2018 sacked Justice Siddiqui after the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) found him guilty of misconduct over a speech he delivered in July at the District Bar Association Rawalpindi.