Are six judges of IHC running from appearing before the Inquiry Commission?

MediaAre six judges of IHC running from appearing before the Inquiry Commission?

Islamabad, Pakistan: It is easy to blame someone but impossible to prove if the blame is unfounded and contrary to facts. The same situation is being faced by six judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) who leveled charges against the Pakistan Army for manipulating the judiciary by forcing judges to make decisions of the Army’s choices.

Since Chief Justice of Pakistan held meetings with judges who leveled charges and after this meeting CJP held a meeting with the Prime Minister and both decided to set up an Inquiry Commission to probe the issue because the Supreme Court cannot act as an Investigative institution. Now the situation looks grave for six judges because according to available information, they do not have any tangible and even circumstantial evidence that anybody from the Pakistan Army forced them to make the decision of choice. Legal circles in Islamabad claimed that a meeting was held at the residence of Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani. Five of the six judges attended the meeting and consensus was found among the judges that the Inquiry Commission constituted by the government should be rejected. It is understood that it is not easy to prove the allegations made in the letter, if the Chief Justice of Pakistan had agreed to hold a convention, the opportunity for a media trial would have been more fruitful.

   

However, there was disagreement on how to make this public: should it be done by judges themselves, by bar councils, or by lawyer-politicians? The formation of the Commission by the government seems to be a masterstroke and has effectively made the judges nervous. Legal circles believe that it was decided that PTI lawyers would reject the Commission to bail out six judges from the confirmed embarrassment they would face when they would have no evidence to prove their allegations against the Pakistan Army.

Legal circles have a list of questions that must be answered by six judges who raised allegations of being forced to give verdicts according to the desires of the Pakistan Army. The foremost question is whether the same judges had been providing relief/bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan even in certain cases he did not demand the bail. Imran Khan had been granted bail several times against rules without presenting himself to IHC and in many cases he got bail before reaching the court. In one instance he reached to IHC mail gate and he was granted bail without being sent to the Courtroom. The question is had Pakistan Army been behind providing such exceptional and unprecedented reliefs to Imran Khan? (as claimed by six judges that the Army got a decision by pressurizing the IHC judges). The second question is would they give precedent from jurisprudence regarding the extraordinarily lenient treatment Imran Khan got from these judges in the past?

There are several more questions that will be faced by these six judges in the Inquiry Commission and they will have to produce evidence of who had been in putting pressure on courts and in what cases.

Another question is that in how many cases they succumbed to the pressure. If they did, then they had mockery of the justice and they must have been removed from their positions.

Moreover, journalists in Islamabad are asking a pertinent question why did six judges write a letter about alleged manipulation against judges just after the decision of the Supreme Court to provide relief to former Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique who had been crying for justice for several years and all these judges did not even give a damn to request of Justice Shukat for providing him relief.

On March 22, 2024, the Supreme Court (SC) set aside the dismissal of former Islamabad High Court (IHC) senior puisne judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and six judges of IHC wrote letter to CJP on March 26—just after four days Justice ® Shaukat Azi got the relief.

In his petition, the former judge had challenged a decision of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) about his dismissal from service and an Oct 11, 2018 notification under which he was removed for a speech he had delivered at Rawalpindi Bar Association. In his speech, Justice Siddiqui accused the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of influencing the court proceedings and forming benches of choice.

On January 22, former ISI director general retired Lt Gen Faiz Hameed submitted his response to Justice Siddiqui’s petition, wherein he rejected the allegations of his involvement in constituting IHC benches to prolong the detention of former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

A senior journalist in one of the Talk shows “Siyasat Aur Such” of Such TV raised serious questions that were not being answered by fellow participants who were trying to establish that six judges were on the right path and were sharing the truth.

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