Supreme Court declares illegal sacking of Justice Siddiqui

Ruling reserved on IHC judge plea in January this year announced.

ISLAMABAD: The sacking of Islamabad High Court’s Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui over a speech against an intelligence agency in 2018 has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The apex court also nullified a notification issued on October 11, 2018, by the president on the recommendation of then prime minister Imran Khan to sack the judge.

A five-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and consisting of Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Irfan Saadat had reserved its verdict on Siddiqui’s plea against his removal.

The verdict was announced by the court today. The judge was shown the door by the Supreme Judicial Council over a speech he had delivered at Rawalpindi Bar Association accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of influencing the court proceedings and forming benches of choice. 

In its ruling, the apex court said the SJC’s opinion about Siddiqui’s dismissal and the subsequent notification issued on Oct 11, 2018 were “set aside”.

“Consequently, Justice Siddiqui shall be deemed to have retired as a judge of the IHC and he will be entitled to receive all the benefits and privileges due to a retired judge, by allowing these petitions in the above term,” the order said.

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