Bar associations jump to Justice Isa’s defence

'Some members of legal fraternity have become puppets of the puppet master'


Our Correspondents April 23, 2019
Justice Qazi Faez Isa. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Monday rejected the Punjab Bar Council’s (PbBC) recent resolution against the Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The decision, which was taken at an emergency meeting of the PBC Executive Committee in Islamabad, came hours after various bar associations in Sindh issued a joint declaration criticising the PbBC resolution against Justice Isa.

“The Sindh Bar Council, the Sindh High Court Bar Association, the Karachi Bar Association, and the Malir Bar Association strongly condemn the resolution [dated 20.4.2019] passed by the Executive Committee of the Punjab Bar Council,” read the joint statement released on Monday.

“We must express our severe disappointment with the six members of the PbBC who were elected to be the voice of the legal fraternity but have chosen, instead, to become puppets of the puppet master.”

“Indeed, the resolution passed by the PbBC Executive Committee actually strengthens the perception that there are unknown forces seeking to influence and pressurise the judiciary and it strengthens the resolve and commitment of all genuine representatives of the legal fraternity to counter and resist all such moves.”

On Saturday, the PBC's executive committee adopted a resolution demanding the removal of Justice Isa in view of his judgment in the Faizabad sit-in case. It demanded proceedings against Justice Isa under Article 209 (5) of the Constitution.  The PbBC also described the removal of Justice Shaukat Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the Supreme Judicial Council as a ‘correct measure’.

The bar associations of Sindh criticised the resolution, saying the PbBC Executive Committee had tried to sabotage the unity of the legal fraternity across Pakistan.

“Most unfortunate of all, however, is the PbBC Executive Committee’s accusation that Justice Qazi Faiz Isa has strengthened the narrative of RAW and India by criticising the role of intelligence agencies in the Faizabad dharna judgment and its demand that he be removed as judge of the Supreme Court.”

“Justice Qazi Faiz Isa enjoys an unblemished reputation for competence, integrity and independence and his only flaw seems to be his readiness to speak the truth and unwillingness to take instructions in the performance of his official functions, whether it be the Quetta Carnage Commission report or the Faizabad dharna judgement,” read the statement by Sindh bar associations.

With regard to the IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s removal, the statement said, the Karachi Bar Association “rightly calls for a full inquiry and investigation to be conducted into the allegations of Mr Shaukat Siddiqui regarding interference by intelligence agencies in judicial matters”.

The declaration stated it was unfortunate that “the Supreme Judicial Council failed to conduct such inquiry during the course of the proceedings against Mr Shaukat Siddiqui”.

The statement was signed by the Sindh Bar Council Executive Committee Chairman Muhammad Azam Khan; Sindh High Court Bar Association President Muhammad Aqil; Karachi Bar Association President Naeem Qureshi; and the Malir Bar Association General Secretary Fida Muhammad Khan.

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