Senior SC judge tenders resignation to President Dr Arif Alvi

n a surprising turn of events, Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has tendered his resignation, stepping down from his judicial duties, Express News reported on Thursday.

According to sources, Justice Ahsan has submitted his written resignation to President Dr Arif Alvi.

He was slated to become the next chief justice of Pakistan following incumbent CJP Qazi Faez Isa’s retirement in October this year.

The development comes a day after Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi – who faces charges of misconduct –resigned as a judge of the Supreme Court, saying it was no longer possible for him to continue holding this position.

 

Justice Naqvi is accused of misconduct and embroiled in ongoing proceedings at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) in this connection. His resignation was accepted by the president earlier in the day.

On Tuesday, Justice Ijazul Ahsan raised concerns about the manner in which the SJC is conducting proceedings on complaints filed against another SC judge Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

 

Justice Ahsan had called for the withdrawal of the show cause notice issued to Justice Naqvi on November 22.

The senior judge issued his 4-page opinion highlighting the reasons why he disagreed with the majority verdict to issue show cause notices to Naqvi.

“Before I set out my reasons, I wish to say something about the manner in which these [SJC] proceedings are being conducted. Unfortunately, in my opinion, proceedings are being conducted in undue haste contrary to established norms,” he said.

 

According to the judge, the council, entrusted as it is with enormous constitutional responsibilities under Article 209 of the Constitution, is a body that must act with deliberate care and after full, frank and detailed discussion. “This is especially so where there is no unanimity and some members (or even one member) are inclined to disagree with [the] majority. This approach has been entirely lacking in the present proceedings. Debate and discussion has been non-existent and has not been permitted.”

Justice Ahsan also said the SJC proceedings on November 22, 2023, when it issued the second notice to Justice Naqvi, were completely devoid of any discussion or deliberation whatsoever. This manner of proceedings, he said, has cast an unwelcome doubt over the whole process. “I, therefore, disagree with the process followed and the manner in which the proceedings are being conducted,” he added.

In June 2016, Justice Ahsan assumed the role of a Supreme Court judge. Currently, he was number three on seniority list.

Following his resignation, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah is poised to ascend to the position of chief justice later this year, as he has become the senior most SC judge.

 

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