ICMD, Oct 11, 2018

President Arif Alvi Thursday removed Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

The decision was taken under Article 209(5) of the constitution on SJCs recommendations under Article 209(6) read with Article 48(1) of the constitution, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Earlier in the day, the SJC had recommended removal of Justice Siddiqui from office over his controversial speech targeting the countrys top spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Mr Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Judge, Islamabad High Court, Islamabad had displayed conduct unbecoming of a Judge of a High Court and was, thus, guilty of misconduct and he is, therefore, liable to be removed from his officer under Article 209(6) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, the recommendation read. The 39-page opinion was penned by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

This is the first instance of the SJC recommending the removal of a high court judge since 1970. Most of the judges have opted to tender resignation to avoid an inquiry. However, Justice Siddiqui opted to face the charges of misconduct and three cases were registered against him in the SJC. In an address to the Rawalpindi District Bar Association on July 21 this year, Justice Siddiqui had alleged that the ISI was manipulating judicial proceedings for the formation of favourable benches. IHC Chief Justice Anwar Kasi had denied allegations levelled against him by Justice Siddiqui, who had also claimed that the ISI approached the IHC top judge to ask him not let former prime minister Nawaz Sharif come out of prison before the general elections and also not include Justice Siddiqui in the bench.