Justice Siddiqui’s Startling Allegations Amid References Against Him Draws Chief Justice and ISPR’s Attention

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Justice Siqqiqui of Islamabad High Court already faces two damning references filed against him in Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

JUL 22, 2018: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday took notice of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s startling criticism of the country’s military and the premier intelligence agencies on Saturday.

On Sunday also, the military’s media wing ISPR issued statement along with tweet that said, “Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations levelled against state institutions.”

The controversial judge of Islamabad High Court, while addressing the Rawalpindi Bar Association on Saturday, had claimed that the agency’s personnel were manipulating judicial proceedings against the Sharif family.

“Their [the agency’s] personnel get benches formed at their will,” Justice Siddiqui had alleged.

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]’.”

“I know who takes whose message to the Supreme Court,” Justice Siddiqui had further said.

He had asked: “Why was the administrative control of the accountability court taken away from the Islamabad High Court?”

He had further alleged that the judiciary’s freedom has been divested and that it is now in control of “those with guns”.

“I was told that ‘if you assure us of decisions in our favor, we will end references against you’,” Justice Siddiqui, who faces a corruption reference later this month, had claimed.

According to reports, the reference against Justice Siddiqui is pending in Supreme Judicial Council over alleged misuse of authority. The outburst against the military and the Judiciary is meant to make any order against him controversial.

Former director of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Muhammad Anwar Gopang, had filed a reference against Justice Siddiqui. The contents of the reference include:

i) On the instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the judge was allotted House No 91-H in Sector F/6-3 of Islamabad. After sometime, the judge used his connections to find a better place to live, and got allotted House No 1-A, in Sector F/7-3. However, the honorable judge was not satisfied even with that house.
ii) His private secretary wrote a letter to the department concerned demanding change of residence for the third time. Eventually, he got House No 2-A in Sector F/7-4, which was on the pool of the PWD.
iii) The judge shifted his residence thrice in search for a ‘better’ abode. He then compelled the CDA to renovate his existing residence despite the fact that the house was the property of the Public Works Department (PWD) and PWD was responsible for its renovation. CDA spent Rs 12.1 million to renovate the house. Engineering Wing of the CDA had initially estimated a cost of Rs 8 million for the renovation work. However, it swelled to more than Rs 12 million at the end.
iv) The judge pressurized the CDA to construct a special cage for his pigeons on the rooftop of his official residence. The amount spent to construct the cage was, however, not shown in the final bills. 
v) The documentary evidence showed that to conceal the total cost of renovation, the officers of CDA revised the tenders thrice. Although the job was awarded to three different firms but actually the work was completed by one contractor.
vi) Justice Siddiqui had very close terms with CDA Director Manzoor Hussain Shah and had ordered the CDA to allot a plot to him. The CDA allotted Plot No 1014 in Sector 1-8/4 to Shah, but he refused to accept it and demanded either Plot No 395 or 396 in Sector I/8-2 be allotted to him. He resubmitted the application in the court and Justice Siddiqui issued the order to allot Plot No 396 to the CDA director. The estimated market value of the first plot was Rs 10 million whereas the plot which the officer got on his choice was worth Rs 50 million.
vii) Another assistant director of CDA, Shahid Singha, who was said to be a close friend of Justice Siddiqui for many years, also took undue advantage of his relations.The son of Shahid Singha was a temporary employee on a project. On the application of Singha, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui first issued stay order and then issued the orders to confirm the services of Singha’s son Nabeel Singha in (BPS-16) despite objections raised by the CDA.
viii) In the same way, Shahid Singha’s daughter-in-law was recruited as research associate in Islamabad High Court on a monthly salary of Rs 80,000 on the orders of Justice Siddiqui. He later transferred her to his own office.
ix) According to the reference, Shahid Singha fell ill and admitted to a private hospital. On the orders of Justice Siddiqui, the CDA had to pay for his medical treatment that cost the authority Rs 377,986.
x) Moreover on the intervention of Justice Siddiqui, the CDA allotted him a house from its pool and gave a Suzuki Cultus car to him.

CJ Nisar, who is on a day-long visit to Karachi, told reporters: “Being the top judge, I am making it abundantly clear that there is no pressure on us. We are working under the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.”

“Such statements are inconceivable and unacceptable,” he continued, adding that he will take into consideration all possible legal actions on the matter.

He assured reporters that legal action would be taken and the facts of the matter brought before the public.

“No one can dare put pressure on the judiciary,” he said, clarifying that he wanted to apprise the public in their own interest, not because there was any pressure on the judiciary to do so.

Another reference against Justice Siddiqui is pending at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). In the second reference, the SJC is reviewing his critical comments regarding the role of the army in last year’s Faizabad sit-in led by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.

The SJC will be holding an inquiry against Justice Siddiqui with regard to the above-mentioned references, which, unlike past SJC inquisitions, will be conducted in an open court.

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