Yesterday, complaints were made against Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. Today, at 3 p.m., the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will meet to look over those complaints. Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, who is also the head of the SJC, will run the meeting.
The SJC looked over a total of 29 complaints at its most recent meeting on October 27. It threw out 19 of them, but in answer to the 10 complaints about financial wrongdoing, it sent Justice Naqvi a “show cause” notice. By a clear vote, the council asked Justice Naqvi to give his response within 14 days.
Justice Naqvi sent his answer to the show cause order on November 10. In his preliminary statement, Justice Naqvi asked Justice Isa, Justice Masood, and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan to step down because they were biased.
Basically, he said that the actions taken against him were political and not legal, respectful, or open. He said that every judge should be able to get a fair trial, just like the Supreme Court said in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, and that the SJC’s acts went against his basic rights.
He made it clear that the SJC could only punish a judge with a unanimous vote, and he questioned the choice to give him a showcase based on a majority vote. Sources say that at the meeting on October 27, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti of the Lahore High Court (LHC) spoke out against giving Justice Naqvi a “show cause” notice.
The council will look over Justice Naqvi’s answer at today’s meeting. People who made complaints against Justice Naqvi and Justice Masood have also been asked by the SJC to show proof of their claims during the meeting. A press statement sent out after the October 27 meeting said that Amna Malik made a complaint against Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. Justice Masood asked that since Malik made the complaint public, the Council should look into it and decide if it is true.
“So, the council was put back together by asking Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, who is the next most senior judge on the Supreme Court, to fill Justice Masood’s seat on the council.”The council looked at the report but found that it was missing some necessary information.
So, the council told Ms. Amna Malik to show proof of her complaint. Once the Secretary got it, she was to give it to Justice Sardar Tariq Masood so that he could reply. “The council also asked Ms. Amna Malik to attend the next meeting,” it said. “Justice Sardar Tariq Masood may also be present to talk about his side of things.”
The SJC is the constitutional body that has to hold judges from higher courts accountable.