The letter of six judges of IHC is nothing but an attempt to make a mockery of the Judiciary

DND Thought CenterThe letter of six judges of IHC is nothing but an attempt...

Islamabad, Pakistan: Six respected judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) have written a worrying letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in which they claimed that an institution linked with Pakistan Army puts pressure on the judges in different ways and at different times for getting decisions of its choice.

The honorable judges also said that even during the tenure of Chief Justice Atta Bandial, these judges discussed this pressure from the institution but according to the letter the then CJSC Atta Bandial did not give any importance to their concerns.


This letter is the talk of the town and has raised several questions because the authors of this letter are famous for providing relief to PTI’s leaders and workers and even those who are allegedly involved in the May 9 cases. It seems that at the behest of Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the judges of the Islamabad High Court have written the letter because approaching the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the Pakistan Army has made the whole matter suspicious because all of the judges know that SJC deals only with cases of the judges and it has nothing to do with any other institution of the country including the Pakistan Army. This constitutional point is also known to the common man associated with the justice system that the SJC is not an institution to investigate any other institution except the judges and judicial officials. Despite the known facts, the judges of the Islamabad High Court wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council, which is tantamount to scandalizing the judiciary.

The six judges in their letter cited only one case of Imran Khan and they did not give a clear reference and proof of a single case in the letter where the Pakistan Army approached them against Imran Khan. The fact is that PTI and Imran Khan got exceptional relief from the Islamabad High Court in most cases.

Islamabad High Court gave an unusual decision not to arrest Imran Khan in any case and Islamabad High Court allowed Imran Khan to conduct a political campaign while sitting in jail by several court orders, Adiala Jail has been converted into a luxurious residence for Imran Khan. Due to such decisions in favor of Imran Khan, political parties opposing Imran Khan call him “Ladla” (blue-eyed boy) of the judiciary because interestingly all judges who have written the letter have a long history of bluntly supporting former Prime Minister Imran Khan and are among those judges who used to provide bails to Imran Khan even before he could ask for a bail. At the first instance, the honorable judges should tell how many bails they have granted to Imran Khan in various cases so far. Another thing is that the same honorable judges have repeatedly given relief to all the accused involved in the May 9 incidents in which PTI followers attacked military installations.

Accusing the Pakistan Army of interfering in law and justice affairs after consistently giving verdicts in favor of Imran Khan is incomprehensible and anti-PTI legal circles claim that the judges’ letter is tantamount to misleading the public’s confidence in the judiciary because the public got the impression from the judges’ letter that the entire country’s judiciary, including the Supreme Court, is being run by the Pakistan Army. However, the authors of the letter should remember that the majority of decisions that came from the Islamabad High Court as well as from the Supreme Court in the past two years had been in favor of the PTI leader and his followers. Should it be believed that the Pakistan Army was behind such favorable decisions for PTI?

A popular theory under discussion in Islamabad’s legal circle is that PTI made several attempts to discredit the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court and the Chief Justice of Pakistan and since PTI’s efforts have failed, the six judges who gave relief to Imran Khan came forward to discredit the judicial system along with Chief Justice of Supreme Court as well as Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court. This theory also links another important but critical factor of Pakistan’s reality. According to this linkage, the COAS of the Pakistan Army and the CJP have zero tolerance for corruption and both have no soft corner for corrupt officials within their circles. Since Malik Riaz used to get a lifeline from these two institutions in the past, he feels unguarded now and campaigns against COAS and CJP have direct or indirect linkages with Malik Riaz and his projects.  Therefore, there is a possible linkage between judges’s letter with accountability process within the judiciary that has already hurt judges like Mazahar Ali Naqvi and several more. Ever since the Chief Justice of Pakistan raised the baton against corruption in the judiciary, judges who had been facing corruption charges have started resigning to avoid punishment while a group of judges are attacking the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the judiciary with different tactics and methods. Another important question is why this letter was being sent to the Supreme Judicial Council at a time when a reference was being prepared against the honorable Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on corruption cases.

The question also arises on the timing of this letter that at a time when the Supreme Court of Pakistan is likely to decide on the case of military courts. Is this not an attempt to sabotage this process through this letter? Another thing to consider is that lower courts have sentenced Imran Khan in three cases and these cases are now in the appeal stage in the Islamabad High Court. Is it not intended to give relief to Imran Khan by putting pressure on state institutions?

The most important thing is that at the end of the letter, after making such serious allegations against the sensitive institution, these honorable judges requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan for a judicial convention only so that it could be smeared in the media. They are not demanding that a full inquiry or a reference or a contempt of court case be filed against the institution they raised claims.

The timing of the letter of the judges of the Islamabad High Court has also made the matter suspicious. Whenever the Chief Justice of Pakistan issues harsh remarks or orders in the pending cases of Bahria Town, attacks on the Chief Justice begin. The Chief Justice of Pakistan was also seriously attacked in the press conference of Commissioner Rawalpindi who has known links with Malik Riaz. After strict orders in the Bahria Town cases a week ago, the letter of six judges is not just a coincidence.

Legal circles claim that this letter is written in a flagrant violation of the Code of Conduct of the Judiciary and there should be a deep investigation to determine why this letter had been written and who is behind this move. Citing the Code of Higher Judiciary, legal circles indicate that the Code of Conduct says:


  • The prime duty of a Judge as an individual is to present before the public an image of justice of the nation.
  • To be a living embodiment of these powers, functions, and obligations calls for possession of the highest qualities of intellect and character.
  • Equally, it imposes patterns of behavior, which are the hall-mark of distinction of a Judge among his fellowmen.
  • A Judge should be God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful of tongue, wise in opinion, cautious and forbearing, blameless, and untouched by greed.
  • To be above reproach, and for this purpose to keep his conduct in all things, ‘official and private, free from impropriety is expected of a Judge.
  • A Judge must decline resolutely to act in a case involving his own interest, including those of persons whom he regards and treats as near relatives or close friends.
  • A Judge must rigidly refrain from entering into or continuing any business dealing.
  • A judge must refuse to deal with any case in which he has a connection with one party or its lawyer more than the other, or even with both parties and their lawyers.
  • To ensure that justice is not only done, but is also seen to be done, a Judge must avoid all possibility of his opinion or action in any case being swayed by any consideration of personal advantage, either direct or indirect.
  • He should not engage in any public controversy, least of all on a political question.
  • A Judge should endeavor to avoid, as far as possible, being involved, either on his own behalf or on behalf of others, in litigation or in matters which are liable to lead to litigation such as industry, trade, or speculative transactions.
  • To employ the influence of his position to gain undue advantage, whether immediate or future, is a grave fault.
  • A Judge must avoid incurring financial or other obligations to private institutions or persons such as may embarrass him in the performance of his functions.
  • Gifts are to be received only from near relatives and close friends, and only such as are customary. Everything in the way of favors in consequence of the office must be refused.

By reading the above-mentioned Code of Conduct, it is not difficult to determine that legal circles have reasons to believe that the authors of the letter have flouted their Code of Conduct and they can be tried in SJC for their inappropriate conduct.

Legal circles are of the view that the Federal Government should set up a high-level parliamentary committee on this issue or another committee under the Ministry of Law to probe the letter.

Another way out is the formation of an empowered commission by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to conduct an inquiry to determine the truth of the allegations raised by the judges and every word of the letter should be probed by the judiciary and the Army with open minds. Judges should be given an open-hearted opportunity to prove their allegations with evidence. Authors of the letter should tell which Army officer pressured them and in which cases.

The Constitution of Pakistan empowers judges to take contempt of court proceedings against interfering elements so the dispute of whether Pakistan Army intervenes in the judiciary or not should be resolved once and for all.

The Supreme Court should form an empowered commission and conduct an open court inquiry into the allegations of judges and they should be asked why they did not stand with Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui when he was fighting alone against Imran Khan who was using his certain officers against him if these judges are so upright and are (were) against judicial manipulation by institutions because the institution of Prime Minister and President were harming a judge who dared to stand against Imran Khan.

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