The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will meet today at 3pm to review the complaints filed against two Supreme Court judges—Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, who is also the SJC chairman, will chair the meeting.
During its last session on October 27, the SJC had reviewed a total of 29 complaints. Although it dismissed 19 of them, it issued a show cause notice to Justice Naqvi in response to the remaining 10 complaints alleging financial misconduct. The council, through a majority vote, requested Justice Naqvi to submit his reply within 14 days.
On November 10, Justice Naqvi submitted his response to the show cause notice. In his preliminary reply, Justice Naqvi accused three SJC members, Justice Isa, Justice Masood, and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, of bias and requested their recusal.
Read SJC to review Naqvi’s reply on Nov 20
He argued that the proceedings against him were politically motivated and lacked legality, propriety, and transparency. He said a fair trial, as declared by the Supreme Court in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, should apply to every judge, and that the SJC’s actions contradicted his fundamental rights.
He emphasized that the SJC could only take action against a judge with a unanimous decision, challenging the move to issue him a showcase on the basis of majority vote. Sources indicate that during the October 27 meeting, two remaining SJC members, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, had objected to issuing a show cause notice to Justice Naqvi.
At today’s meeting, the council will review Justice Naqvi’s reply. Additionally, the SJC has called on individuals who filed complaints against Justice Naqvi and Justice Masood to present evidence supporting their claims during the meeting. According to a press release issued after the October 27 meeting, one complaint was filed by Amna Malik against Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, who had requested that since she had made the complaint public, the Council should take it up and determine its veracity.
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“Therefore, the council was reconstituted by requesting Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, the next judge in seniority in the Supreme Court, to take his seat on the council on the recusal of Justice Masood. “The council considered the complaint but found that requisite material was not attached with it.
Therefore, the council directed Ms Amna Malik to produce material in support of her complaint, and upon its receipt the Secretary to provide it to Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, who may respond thereto. “The council also summoned Ms Amna Malik to be present in the next meeting of the council, when Justice Sardar Tariq Masood may also be present to give his point of view,” it said.
The SJC is the constitutional forum responsible for holding superior court judges accountable.