ISLAMABAD .: Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has demanded the constitution of a full court (17 judges) to hear Islamabad High Court Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s matter.
PBC vice chairman Kamran Murtaza and PBC chairman executive committee Ghulam Shabir Shar while issuing a statement has endorsed the demand of his fellow member Raheel Kamran Sheikh that a full court should hear IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s case, wherein the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has already taken notice over Justice Siddiqui’s speech alleging the top spy agency of manipulating judicial proceedings.
Presently, PBC executive body is led by an independent lawyers group, which is also known as Asma Jahangir late Group.
It is learnt that majority of the Asma Group members are unhappy with the judicial activism of CJP Mian Saqib Nisar. “When we were against former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s overuse of suo motu then how can we accept judicial activism of the present CJP,” says a member of Independent Lawyers Group.
He also revealed that their group members are already expressing concern over the group’s policy towards the top judge. However, a senior member admitted that active member of group Ahsan Bhoon is openly backing the chief justice. Due to his influence, some group members like Lahore High Bar Association president are showing restraint while giving reaction over the incumbent judicial activism policy, he adds.
Incumbent LHCBA president had also challenged the appointment of SC judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa in the apex court.
On the other hand, majority of the Hamid Khan group is also supporting Justice Siddiqui while Hamid Khan is his counsel before Supreme Judicial Council.
PBC representatives in joint statement stated that independence of judiciary is linked with this ‘sensitive matter’, raised by Justice Siddiqui, therefore, a full court should hear the case, wherein presence of country’s ‘major bars representation’, civil society members and media persons should be ensured.
The statement states that the apex body of lawyers believes that problems would be increased by putting Justice Siddiqui’s allegations under the carpet. Likewise, institutions reputation will also be damaged. Therefore there is no other option except to hear the matter in an open court. The PBC also demanded that those found involved in manipulating judicial proceedings should be taken to task.
Earlier, PBC member Raheel Kamran Sheikh initiated the proposal to PBC members for demanding the constitution of full court.
“The controversy engendered by Justice Siddiqui’s speech, justifiably raises concerns of all members of the legal fraternity as the same carries potential to shake the faith and confidence of the people of Pakistan in the independence and impartiality of the courts”, said Sheikh adding that such allegations require thorough inquiry and probe in an open and confidence inspiring way
He further said DG ISPR has also asked the chief justice for a probe into the judge’s charges and taking an appropriate action while Justice Siddiqui himself has also demanded appointment of an independent commission and CJP Nisar has taken notice of the subject.
“For ensuring independence of judiciary and dignity of the Court, I feel that it is imperative for us all that we demand for the constitution of a larger bench comprising full Supreme Court to hear this important case. Hope my institution will not let me down by failing to play its due role at this critical time”, said the PBC member in his letter.