ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Arif Alvi has removed Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from the post of Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge in the light of a recommendation by the Supreme Judicial Council, read an official notification issued Thursday.
“Consequent upon proceedings under Article 209(5) and recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973…… The President of Pakistan has been pleased to remove Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, from his office with immediate effect,” read the notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.
In his reaction to the SJC’s recommendation, Siddiqui said the recommendation for his removal from the office was not unexpected.
He claimed that a baseless reference was formed against him for alleged renovation of his official residence around three years ago.
The dismissed judge said when nothing was achieved through the reference, then his speech was made a basis [for his removal].
“This reference was not heard in an open court despite my demand and a clear verdict by the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he said in his statement.
“Neither was a commission constituted to scrutinise the facts narrated in my speech.”
Siddiqui further vowed to soon present his detailed stance before the people.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Judicial Council recommended removal of Justice Siddiqui from his office over his controversial speech before the District Bar Association, Rawalpindi on 21 July, 2018.
The said recommendation was sent to President Arif Alvi.
According to the recommendation, a copy of which is available with Geo News, “Mr. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad had displayed conduct unbecoming of a Judge of a High Court and was, thus, guilty of misconduct and he is, therefore, liable to be removed from his officer under Article 209(6) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.”
On July 21, Justice Siddiqui in his speech blamed the higher judiciary for the country’s ‘deplorable’ state of affairs.
Commenting on the matter the next day while hearing a case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had observed, “I read about the remarks of a judge in Islamabad and was deeply saddened”.
Adding to the matter, the army, in a press release issued the same day, stated: “An honourable judge of Islamabad High Court of Pakistan has leveled serious allegations against state institutions including honourable judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency.
In order to safeguard the sanctity and credibility of the state institutions, Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take actions accordingly”.
The apex court then took a suo motu notice of the matter following which Justice Siddiqui asked the chief justice to constitute a judicial commission to probe his allegations and offered to resign if he’s proven wrong.