Justice Shaukat Siddiqui claims threat to life

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who recently accused the top spy agency and the military establishment of manipulating court benches, has declined to attend a three-day foreign workshop in view of ‘serious life threats’ to him and his family.

In a letter written to the IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi on Friday, Justice Siddiqui said he was nominated by the IHC top judge to attend a workshop titled ‘Human Rights and the Rule of Law’ to be held at Hull University in Manchester UK from August 11 to August 18.

“[However] due to issuance of show cause notice dated July 31 by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and for the fact that there are serious life threats to me and my family, I do not find it appropriate to leave my family in a state of fear and stress,” said judge as he requested to recall the nomination.

The SJC on July 31 issued a third show cause notice to Justice Siddiqui over his controversial July 21 speech at the Rawalpindi District Bar Association.

“After having examined the record and also the opinion of our brother Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and upon thoroughly discussing the matter while taking into consideration the material, we are inclined to issue a show cause notice to the respondent judge [Justice Siddiqui].

“And send the relevant material to him calling upon him to explain his conduct within a period of 14 days. Let the matter be listed on August 28 for consideration of the reply of the respondent judge,” said the show cause notice issued by the SJC Chairman CJP Mian Saqib Nisar.

According to the show cause notice, the council noted that Justice Siddiqui in his speech put ‘serious allegations’ pertaining to superior judiciary and a ‘state institution’. The IHC judge’s allegations were categorised into six parts.

The show cause said, he firstly alleged that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in manipulation of judicial proceedings including formation of benches.

Secondly, he claimed that the ISI man approached the IHC chief justice and asked him not to let former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter come out of prison before general election 2018 and not to include Justice Siddiqui in the bench. And the IHC top judge allegedly accepted their demand.

Thirdly, he claimed to even have knowledge of the person who conveys messages to the Supreme Court.

Fourthly, the judge claimed that daily proceedings of the accountability court, holding Sharif’s trial, were being reported somewhere and that Siddiqui also knew the reason why the administrative control of the IHC as per statute was removed so that no judge could look into the proceedings.

Fifthly, he was assured that if he gave decision as per the ISI’s request then reference pending against him would be closed and (lastly) would also be made the IHC chief justice by September.

“Above act on your part amounts to misconduct as envisaged in the provisions inter alia of Articles II, III, V & IX of the Code of Conduct prescribed by the Supreme Judicial Council,” said the show cause notice.

On Tuesday, the SJC resumed open hearing of the case with regard to Justice Siddiqui’s alleged misconduct and then deferred the proceedings for an indefinite period.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi has denied Justice Siddiqui’s allegations levelled against him in a statement made after the CJP sought his comments on veracity of the allegations.

Justice Kasi has ‘categorically denied’ all allegations and said Justice Siddiqui did not respond to a request for the provision of material to substantiate his allegations. However, sources revealed that Justice Siddiqui would submit evidence with his reply to the show cause notice.

Justice Siddiqui is also facing proceedings of misconduct and the superior judiciary has accepted his plea to conduct his trail in open court.

AlamulKhabar Pakistan