Supreme Court (SC) Judge Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi on Monday challenged the Supreme Judicial Council’s (SJC) proceeding of misconduct against him, terming the allegations ‘false and baseless.’
Justice Naqvi has pleaded that the case against him may be withdrawn as the complaints are “without lawful authority and of no legal effect”.
Following the emergence of audio leaks earlier this year, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on March 10 filed a complaint of misconduct against Justice Naqvi. The audio leaks allegedly featured a conversation regarding the fixation of the case before a particular bench or judge with former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi.
Two separate audio clips were leaked on social media in February this year. In the first audio clip, a man purported to be Elahi could be heard telling “Joja sahab” that the SC judge should be appointed to hear the “Muhammad Khan case”.
Challenging the SJC under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, Justice Naqvi contended that a malicious campaign had been launched against him since February 16, and that a media trial had been conducted against him.
The petition argued that the release of a press release without the justice’s consent not only violated his fundamental rights, it also exposed him to a media trial, further maligning him before the populace.
Justice Naqvi in his petition maintained that this “malicious campaign and the complaints are a direct and blatant attack on the independence of the judiciary.”
Read PBC files complaint against Justice Naqvi in SJC
Referring to the case Justice Qazi Isa v. President of Pakistan to light in which the SC claimed that every citizen irrespective of status and position is entitled to due process of law under Articles 4 and 9 to 28, the apex court judge protested that the record of the manner in which the proceedings have been initiated by issuing a show casue notice on October 28 by SJC “is repugnant to and inconsistent with the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to him by the Constitution”.
On October 28, in his preliminary reply to a show-cause notice, Justice Naqvi requesting a recusal, raised objections over the participation of the three members of the body three SJC members, Justice Isa, Justice Masood, and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, but did not mention anything regarding the misconduct complaints against him.
Read more Justice Naqvi seeks CJP’s recusal from SJC
The petition submitted today, while affirming that the show cause notice is in direct conflict with the judgements of the apex court, maintained that the issuance of the hearing notice on November 11 without determining the legal and constitutional objections violated Article 209 and SJC’s Procedure of Enquiry.
The SJC is a constitutional body- comprising of the chief justice, two senior-most Supreme Court judges and two senior-most high court chief justices- that investigates complaints of misconduct against the Supreme and High Court judges.
The SJC will meet today to review the complaints filed against two Supreme Court judges, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood.