Credentials of the Judges of Supreme Judicial Council
In connection to my earlier blogs related to suspension/sacking of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary. Here is an inside information about the credntials of the Judges who will be dealing with the presidential reference (I am not willing to call it a presidential reference – as this has been filed by Chief Martial Law Administrator & Illegal Chief of Army Staff). Following notes are taken from a news reported by Khaleej Time.
The credentials of judges on the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to hear presidential reference against ‘non-functional’ chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry would be the first item to figure in his defence when the proceedings in the case start today, Supreme Court Bar Association President, Munir Malik said yesterday.
According to media reports and Supreme Court sources, three members on the 5-member highest judicial panel in the country face references pending against them on charges ranging from misconduct, misuse of authority, corruption and embezzlement.
One of these judges is facing allegations of involvement in a land corruption case while the other is accused of being involved in financial embezzlement. The fourth has a personal grouse against Justice Iftikhar for having occupied his residence in Karachi while the presiding judge has a conflict of interest problem.
If Justice Iftikhar is absolved and reinstated he will continue to head the apex up to 2013. By then, acting Chief Justice would have retired without being elevated to the top office.
The News yesterday reported that two of the three judges on the reference panel are already faced with references pending before the SJC.
A third judge is said to have had his two daughters admitted to a medical college on the basis of special seats offered by a chief minister. A son-in-law of the same judge was also appointed deputy secretary in the provincial secretariat of the same province on deputation.
The two most senior SC judges, who will sit in the SJC, are Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar and Justice Sardar Raza Khan. The two provincial chief justices, who by virtue of their seniority would sit in the council, are Lahore High Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Hussain and Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed of the Sindh High Court.
Apart from what is under review about the ‘pending cases’ of the judges who will sit in the SJC, some legal minds have already raised the important question of whether the acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal could sit in the SJC.
Meanwhile, a source pointed out that SHC Chief Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed should also not sit in the SJC for the reason that the much-condemned open letter of a supreme court lawyer also included an allegation against the chief justice regarding use of the official residence of the Sindh CJ by Justice Iftikhar.
Babar Sattar, an Islamabad-based lawyer, in a newspaper article has pointed out that the inclusion of Justice Javed Iqbal in the Supreme Judicial Council creates a conflict of interest. “Only by declaring the chief justice guilty of misconduct would enable Justice Javed Iqbal to become the chief justice of Pakistan or otherwise he would retire prior to expiry of the term of the current Chief Justice.”
Sattar wrote in his article, published in The News on Sunday, “There is scant possibility of a fair inquiry being conducted by a council of peers led by a judge who has a personal interest in the outcome of the inquiry. Further, his appointment as acting chief, if made permanent, will also be a violation of the principle of seniority as Justice Rana Bhagwandas is the senior-most judge after the chief justice.”
as in words of Faiz Ahmed Faiz
…kiss say munsafi chahain? from whom shall I seek justice????