RAWALPINDI – Pakistan’s military has asked the Supreme Court to take action against a Islamabad High Court justice who accused the country’s judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency of meddling in judicial affairs.
In a press release issued on Sunday, the Inter Services Public Relations 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.”
Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations levelled against state institutions. pic.twitter.com/wiruWYNZre
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 22, 2018
The army’s request follows the statement of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, who responded to the remarks of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui regarding interference of intelligence agency in judicial matters.
In a statement, the top judge said that the judiciary is working independently and free from any pressure. “I read about the statement of a judge and was deeply disappointed,” he added.
The CJP also vowed to launch an investigation into the matter and bring the facts to light.
Yesterday, the senior puisne judge of the Islamabad High Court criticised the alleged meddling by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in judicial affairs.
Accusing the secret agency of ‘manipulating’ the judicial bodies and the constitutional courts, Justice Siddiqui claimed that he was conveyed that all references against him would be removed if he accepted the terms.
“We are not independent and our institution is in the hands of those carrying guns,” he told a gathering of lawyers from Rawalpindi Bar Association.
Siddiqui’s remarks came just days before the Supreme Judicial is to hold open trial of a corruption reference against him, making it a first such case in the history of Pakistan. The hearing will take place on July 30.
Justice Siddiqui is facing a reference on misconduct moved on the complaint by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged refurbishment of official residence beyond entitlement.
On Feb 22, SJC had issued a show cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on another reference against him for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments about some “important constitutional institution saying such comments prima facie had the tendency of undermining the respect otherwise such constitutional institution enjoys”.