IHC judge levels serious allegations against security agencies

Published: July 21, 2018
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui. PHOTO: IHC

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui. PHOTO: IHC

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui made serious allegations against the country’s premier intelligence agency in a no-holds-barred speech at the Rawalpindi Bar Association on Saturday.

Justice Siddiqui, who is currently facing disciplinary proceedings at the Supreme Judicial Council for an array of allegations, accused the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, of manipulating the judicial proceedings. He did not share any evidence whatsoever to substantiate his allegations, though.

Justice Siddiqui alleged that the agency had approached the IHC chief justice seeking assurance that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar would remain behind the bars until July 25, the election day.

An accountability court on July 6 convicted Sharif, Maryam and Safdar in NAB’s Avenfield reference and sentenced them to 10 years, seven years and two years in jail, respectively.

IHC tells army, ISI chiefs not to intrude in other depts

Currently, a division bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, is hearing the appeals of Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law against their conviction, their writ petitions and an application seeking transfer of the remaining NAB references to any other court.

Justice Siddiqui alleged that the agency did not want him [Justice Siddiqui] to sit on any bench hearing the applications of the Sharifs.

Justice Siddiqui further alleged how judges of superior and subordinate courts gave in to pressure from the agency, especially, in the proceedings against the members of the Sharif family.

The judge also alleged he had been offered a quid pro quo: give favourable verdicts and all references against him pending before the SJC would be dropped.

“I was offered elevation to the post of [IHC]’s chief justice in September instead of November,” he claimed. The incumbent IHC chief justice, Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, is expected to retire in November this year.

Justice Siddiqui is facing a reference on allegation of misconduct which was initiated on the complaint by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged refurbishment of his official residence beyond entitlement, allotment of a house, appointment of a research officer, Mumtaz Qadri’s matter, scolding government officials, and SC judge Justice Asif Saeed Khosa’s judgment regarding him and plot allotted to his alleged friend.

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In February, the SJC served another show-cause notice on Justice Siddiqui for questioning the role of the army in the matter relating to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s Faizabad sit-in last year. Later, the judge submitted a reply in this regard but the council rejected it.

He claimed that he has an unblemished career and that was why he had requested for an open trial in the SJC. Following his application, the SJC allowed an open trial of a judge for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

Justice Siddiqui also said that 50 per cent responsibility of the country’s “current affairs lies with the judiciary while other institutions are responsible for the rest”. He said corruption and disorder were evident in India too but still the neighbouring country was on path to progress.

“Political process did not stop for a single day in India. Martial law has never been imposed there. We are told that India is an enemy but even Indians do not know [their] army chief’s name,” he said. He added that India was progressing while Pakistan was going backwards.

Justice Siddiqui’s speech, recorded on mobile phone cameras, has gone viral on the social media, while the Indian media has also played it up.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Sriver
    Jul 21, 2018 - 11:02PM

    education does not make a man intelligent. But one would expect a judge to process both these qualities in far more quantity than others. After all, upon his judgement depends the lives and livelihood of those who come before him in his court.

    By making such an irresponsible statement the esteemed judge has made a mockery of the judiciary and the nation-sate of which he is a member.

    If there are concerns these should have been presented to the Bar Council and after discussion a public statement issued. Otherwise these are just one person unsubstantiated allegation against Pakistan’s first line of defence.

    Our English Language media is equally to blame. Pakistan has made you what you are. You should respect Pakistan and its people who have made you reach by buying you newspapers so you could educated your children abroad and buy property overseas.

    Be patriotic. Learn from journalists of other countries. Recommend

  • dubious
    Jul 21, 2018 - 11:58PM

    Open secret. Everyone knows that the military interferes with domestic policy – most suspect it of abuse/coercion of judges and journalist. Yet nationalism/xenophobia seems to justify rallying around an organization which likely is responsible for terrible International image of Pakistan. Who’s responsible for a foreign policy which has resulted in Pakistan in a continual war with India and painted by the World as a sponsor of terrorism … sure wasn’t Sharif. Recommend

  • Sameer
    Jul 22, 2018 - 12:17AM

    Honorable Justice Siddique should go to court with proof and to jail without it.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Jul 22, 2018 - 1:50AM

    This judge contested elections on behalf of MMA in 2002. After alliance with ASWJ of PMLN, these allegations has now no meaningRecommend

  • Saad Khan
    Jul 22, 2018 - 4:41AM

    He is brother of Ex PM’s Adviser Mr Irfan Siddiqui and he who helped him to become a judge, otherwise he is not fit to be an advocate @Sriver:
    If something happens to him now, blame will go on Agencies, he has no knowledge of public anger against him and his brother. Nawaz Sharif or anyone else has been convicted and let them serve their tenure in jail, who is he to grant them bail, they looted country and this judge and his brother still consider Sharif a Mughal Emperor.Recommend

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