SJC moved against CJP Bandial, three others over ‘judicial misconduct’

Justice Munib Akhtar, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan. — Supreme Court website
Justice Munib Akhtar, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan. — Supreme Court website

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has been moved against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and three other judges of the Supreme Court for “judicial misconduct”.

The three other judges nominated in the reference are Advocate Sardar Salman Ahmad Dogar, the complainant, has included Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

The complainant Advocate Sardar Salman Ahmad Dogar alleged in the reference that the four judges violated Articles III, IV, V, VI and IX of the code of conduct for the SC judges.

Under the said Articles, judge’s conduct in all things, official and private, be free from impropriety; enshrine the rule against bias and conflict of interest either direct or indirect; ensuring that justice is not only done, but is also seen to be done; counsel against engaging in public controversy, least of all on a political question; employment of the influence of a judge’s position to gain undue advantage, whether immediate or future; and maintenance of harmony within his own court, as well as among all courts and for the integrity of the institution of justice.

“Even a bare perusal of the recent proceedings in the Supreme Court and the conduct of these four judges, strongly suggest that they have publicly been involved in controversies surrounding their judicial conduct, which is a violation of the Code of Conduct and the Constitution,” states the complaint.

The complainant has accused CJP Bandial of “judicial and administrative misconduct” over his failure to probe the allegations against Justice Naqvi as SJC chairperson. The top judge has also been accused of “bench fixing to favour certain political parties”.

“The four judges have developed a majority to manipulate decisions, whereby references against judges are ignored, the same bench is constituted by the chief justice in important matters to manipulate decisions in their favour, and the same is also a blatant misuse of the discretionary power of the chief justice to form benches. The exercise of this power cannot be without rhyme and reason, and it cannot, most certainly, be used in such a manner whereby decisions are manipulated by the chief justice by constituting favourable benches,” states the complaint.

Advocate Dogar also claimed that in the election delay case the three-member bench did not hear the stakeholders and parties expect for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“This is clearly against the principles of justice, violation of Article 10A, and also judicial misconduct, considering that this has been a consistent practice of the four judges,” said the complaint.

Advocate Dogar has also asked Senior Puisne Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa to chair the SJC meeting in place of CJP Bandial as he can no longer head it as he is the one being investigated and must be replaced as per Article 209(2).

The complainant has also called for the removal of Justice Ahsan with Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in the SJC.

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