Justice Siddiqui excuses from attending workshop due to life threats


ISLAMABAD: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui excused from attending a workshop in England due to serious life threats to his family, it emerged on Friday.

In a letter to Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, Justice Siddiqui cited serious life threats to himself and his family along with the issuance of a fresh show-cause notice by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) as the reasons behind his refusal.

The workshop, ‘Human Rights and the Rule of Law’, is to be held at Hull University in Manchester from August 8-18.

IHC Chief Justice Kasi had nominated Justice Siddiqui to attend the workshop.

On August 1, SJC had served a second show-cause notice to Justice Siddiqui — reportedly over his speech at the district bar of Rawalpindi — in which he was directed to reply by August 29.

This was the second such notice to the IHC judge. He was earlier issued a show-cause notice by the council over his comments on the Faizabad interchange protest.

Justice Siddiqui is also facing a reference on misconduct moved on the complaint by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged refurbishment of official residence beyond entitlement.

Suo motu notice over controversial remarks

On July 21, Justice Siddiqui had stirred controversy when he alleged meddling in the judiciary’s affairs by the ‘powerful quarters’ and blamed the higher judiciary for the country’s ‘deplorable’ state of affairs.

Commenting on the matter the next day while hearing a case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had observed, “I read about the remarks of a judge in Islamabad and was deeply saddened”.

The chief justice had reassured that the judiciary is completely independent and not working under anyone’s pressure.

Adding to the matter, the army, in a press release issued the same day, stated: “An honourable judge of Islamabad High Court of Pakistan has levelled serious allegations against state institutions including honourable judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency.

In order to safeguard the sanctity and credibility of the state institutions, Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take actions accordingly”.

The apex court then took a suo motu notice of the matter following which Justice Siddiqui asked the chief justice to constitute a judicial commission to probe his allegations and offered to resign if proven wrong.