Complaints against judges: CJP summons SJC meeting tomorrow

This will be the second meeting of the council this month


Hasnaat Malik February 13, 2017
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: TWITTER

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar summoned another meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council on Tuesday (tomorrow) to consider complaints of alleged misconduct against two Lahore High Court (LHC) judges, the sources told The Express Tribune.

The sources said that the council summoned two LHC judges for personally explaining their positions regarding the complaints.

SJC starts acting on complaints against top judges

It is learnt that both judges had already been served show-cause notices last year during the tenure of former Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali. One of them had challenged the council’s show-cause notice in the Supreme Court. Later, the judge withdrew his petition.

This will be the second meeting of the council this month (February).

Last week, the SJC summoned an Islamabad High Court judge and one LHC judge, whose name was included in Panama Papers.

The LHC judge on February 8 sought more time to file a reply in this regard.

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Supreme Court Bar Association’s (SCBA) president Rasheed A Rizvi demanded that the council hold public hearings.

He said that if cases against the prime minister and president could be heard in open courts, why complaints against judges were being examined in-camera.

Members of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) believe that the council should not initiate proceedings against judges for erroneous judgments.

According to Article 209 of the Constitution, SJC comprises the chief Justice of the Supreme Court, two senior most judges of the Supreme Court and two senior-most chief justices of high courts. The council is also empowered to hear complaints against top government functionaries such as the NAB chairman, ECP members and AGP. SJC’s proceedings are always in-camera and the Supreme Court registrar serves as the secretary to the council.

Chief justice asks bars to restrain unruly lawyers

CJP Mian Saqib in his 127-page note on the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments case raised serious questions about the lack of self-accountability within the judiciary.

“The judiciary in Pakistan is uniquely positioned. If compared with other judicial institutions around the world, it will be noted that there is no parallel for a judiciary which is appointed by the judiciary and is answerable to the judiciary,” Justice Mian Saqib Nisar stated in his order.

He also observed that no judge of a superior court in Pakistan was ever prosecuted in a criminal court.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2017.

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