OCT 11, 2018: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday removed Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui from his post on the recommendation of Supreme Judicial Council citing judge’s “conduct unbecoming” and thus guilty of misconduct.
“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.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Judicial Council comprising five Supreme Court judges headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar recommended removal of Justice Siddiqui from his office over his controversial speech before the District Bar Association, Rawalpindi on 21 July, 2018.
The recommendation was sent to the President for approval.
“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,” read the document issued by SJC.
While addressing an audience at the bar, Justice Siddiqui had claimed that personnel of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were manipulating judicial proceedings.
He had further claimed that the spy agency had approached IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi and said: “‘We do not want to let Nawaz Sharif and his daughter come out [of the prison] until elections, do not include Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on the bench [hearing Sharifs’ appeals]’.”
Justice Siddiqui had offered no evidence to support the claims he made.
The IHC judge was facing a reference over his controversial speech, the third reference filed against him.
After 1970, this is the first instance of the SJC recommending the removal of a high court judge. Most of the judges have opted to tender their resignation to avoid an SJC inquiry. However, Justice Siddiqui opted to face the charges of misconduct and three cases are registered against him in the SJC.