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HomeNewsSupreme Court Declares Removal of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui Unlawful, Grants Retired...

Supreme Court Declares Removal of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui Unlawful, Grants Retired Status with Benefits

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In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has overturned the removal of former Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, deeming it illegal. The five-member bench, led by Chief Justice Qazi Fazi Isa, issued a comprehensive 23-page judgment, setting aside the notification that ordered Siddiqui’s removal and directing that he be considered as a retired judge with full benefits.

The court highlighted procedural flaws in the Supreme Judicial Council’s (SJC) handling of the case, noting that Justice Siddiqui was denied a fair trial and due process as guaranteed under Article 10A of the constitution. The bench criticized the SJC for not allowing Siddiqui the opportunity to substantiate the serious allegations he had made, thereby depriving him of the chance to establish the truth.

Furthermore, the court pointed out the lack of specificity in the allegations against Siddiqui, noting that the SJC failed to specify the exact misconduct he was accused of. The judgment emphasized the importance of due process in safeguarding individual freedoms and ensuring the pursuit of truth.

While the court acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations made by Siddiqui against certain individuals, including then Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, it underscored the need for a proper inquiry to determine their veracity. It also criticized the conduct of the then attorney general for Pakistan, Anwar Mansoor Khan, for misleading the SJC.

Despite the ruling in favor of Justice Siddiqui, the court noted that due to the delay in the hearing of the petition, Siddiqui had reached the retirement age for a high court judge. As a result, he cannot be reinstated to his former position, but he is entitled to receive all benefits and privileges due to a retired judge.

This decision marks a significant moment in Pakistan’s legal history, reaffirming the importance of due process and fair trial rights, even for judges. It also serves as a reminder of the judiciary’s role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all citizens.

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