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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

    Judicial Turmoil: Dissent Erupts as SJC Issues Notice to Justice Naqvi

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    The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has issued a comprehensive show cause notice to Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, prompted by allegations of misconduct. The council, which holds the exclusive authority to investigate the conduct of judges within the superior judiciary, reached a 4-1 majority ruling, urging Justice Naqvi to respond to 10 complaints within 14 days.

    The majority opinion, supported by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faiz Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq, Justice Amir Bhatti, and Justice Naeem Afghan, underscores the gravity of the allegations. However, it’s noteworthy that Justice Ijazul Ahsan dissented from the prevailing viewpoint.

    Justice Naqvi, in response, had previously filed a petition contesting the SJC proceedings, seeking the annulment of the misconduct allegations against him. Represented by a legal team comprising Mukhdoom Ali Khan, Khawaja Haris, Ali Zafar, Latif Khosa, and Saad Hashmi, the petition, filed under Article 184 of the Constitution, lists the federation, the country’s president, and the SJC as respondents.

    The petition contends that the allegations against Justice Naqvi lack lawful authority and legal standing. It seeks to nullify the show cause notice issued after the SJC meeting on October 27 and the subsequent hearing notice from November 13.

    Justice Naqvi alleges a malicious campaign against him since February, involving ‘false and baseless allegations’ that have been publicly aired, leading to what he terms a “media trial.” The jurist asserts that these acts directly challenge the independence of the judiciary, echoing the sentiments expressed in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case ruling.

    Despite the dismissal of 19 out of 29 complaints during the SJC’s October 27 session, Justice Naqvi found himself facing a show cause notice for the remaining 10, centering on allegations of financial misconduct. His response to the notice on November 10 accused three SJC members, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, of bias and requested their recusal.

    However, objections notwithstanding, the SJC proceeded to set a hearing for November 20 to review the complaints against Justice Naqvi.

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