ISLAMABAD  –  The Supreme Court of Pakistan Friday issued notices to ex-DG ISI Faiz Hameed, former chief justice of Islam­abad High Court (IHC) Anwar Kasi, Brig (r) Irfan Ramay and the ex-registrar apex court Arbab Muhammad Arif in the case of Jus­tice Shaukat Aziz Sid­diqui’s removal.

The counsels of for­mer judge IHC Shaukat Siddiqui and Islam­abad Bar Association (IBA) were directed to file the amended peti­tions and provide the respondents’ addresses within one week, so that notices be issued to them. The SC office was ordered to send notices to the respon­dents after receiving the amended petitions.

A five-member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice of Paki­stan Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan conducted hear­ing of the petitions of Shaukat Siddiqui, IBA, and Karachi Bar Association, which were filed in 2018, against the SJC recom­mendations and the notifica­tion to remove Justice Siddiqui as a judge of the IHC. The pro­ceeding was live telecast on the Supreme Court YouTube chan­nel. Shaukat Siddiqui and the IBA a day ago (Thursday) had filed applications before the Supreme Court to array former army chief General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa, ex-DG ISI Lt-Gen­eral (r) Faiz Hameed, IHC ex-CJ Justice (r) Anwar Khan Kasi, former SC Registrar Arbab Mu­hammad Arif, Brig (r) Irfan Ra­may, Brig (r) Faisal Marwat, and Brig (r) Tahir Wafai. How­ever, after the proceeding the lawyers of Siddiqui and IBA told the bench that they would retain the names of Faiz Ha­meed, Anwar Kasi, Brig (r) Ir­fan Ramay and Arbab Muham­mad Arif as respondents, but exclude others as they are not directly involved.

 

The Chief Justice said that as the serious allegations have been levelled, therefore, the persons who have been made respondents should be giv­en opportunity to file their responses. He said that they would not proceed in this mat­ter without considering and examining their responses, therefore notices be issued.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice pointed out that the pe­titioners have levelled serious allegations in their petitions against former army officers. He inquired what direct advan­tage the persons have gained, arrayed in the applications. He questioned that whether these persons themselves or their relatives were contesting the elections at that relevant times. Whether any General had desired to become Prime Minister, or they were acting as facilitators for the benefit of someone. He further inquired that whether the alleged per­sons worked to damage one man and benefit other. He not­ed that the petitioners have made facilitators as party, but reluctant to implead the bene­ficiary in the instant matter.

 

 

Hamid Khan, who represent­ed Shaukat Siddiqui, contended that this is the case of political engineering, the establishment should not get involved in the political issues. The Chief Jus­tice asked the counsel why he was not telling the whole truth, adding manipulation was be­ing done for someone and with some purpose. This was assault on democracy, constitution and judiciary.

Salahuddin Ahmed, lawyer IBA, contended if the process starts and certain facts emerge then other persons could be in­cluded in this case. We should go step by step. The Chief Jus­tice said that the incidents were inter-connected, adding that the specific manipulation was planned to benefit some persons in the elections 2018.

Salahuddin said that precise maneuvering in the judiciary was done through Generals to benefit some in the elections. He said that there are three possibilities, first to block the way of Nawaz Sharif so that he could not contest the elections. It was done to favour Nawaz Sharif’s opponent, and third it was done to benefit someone. He said; “Therefore I can’t con­clusively say that it was done to benefit Imran Khan. He asked to appoint an inquiry commis­sion to probe this matter.

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