Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to publicise details of Supreme Judicial Council’s (SJC) proceedings about cases against judges of top courts and to stop the guilty judges from performing their official duties.

The first ever constitutional request of its kind has been filed by Pakistan Bar Council’s Raheel Kamran Sheikh, under the right to information act.

The petitioner has requested the apex court to release information about total number of complaints against judges and disposal ratio of such complaints since the establishment of the council.

“Under the Constitution every citizen reserves right to access information about the proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council, however public has been deprived of this right as the details of references filed against the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts are not being provided to them,” the petitioner maintained.

He argued that restraining access to such information is not only a violation of article 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan, but also a curb against right to free trial granted under article 10-A.

He has further raised a question with the Supreme Court of Pakistan that how could a judge perform judicial duties while some reference is underway against himself at SJC.

The top court has been requested to consider the queries of public importance with reference to the fundamental rights granted to citizens under articles 9, 10-A and 19-A of constitution.

The petition noted that Pakistan Bar Council has time and again expressed displeasure over non-disclosure of such information and a resolution was also adopted requesting the SJC to decide the references against judges without any delay.

The SJC is responsible to hear cases of misconduct against top judges under Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan and a judge belonging to the superior judiciary can only be removed on the recommendations of the council.

It is also relevant to be mentioned here that no superior court judge has been removed by the Supreme Judicial Council since the 1970s.