ISLAMABAD - A reference in the Supreme Judicial Council against four Supreme Court judges is nothing but to protect the corrupt practices and corruption.
There is a few lawyers, whose fees are in millions, are behind this reference filed by Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA), alleged Azhar Siddique, a Lahore-based lawyer, while talking to The Nation on Friday.
“Those lawyers don’t want judicial activism in the country, as it’s affecting their business,” he said. Azhar Siddique along with 400 lawyers of the LHCBA had opposed the reference.
President LHCBA Abid Saqi last week had filed a reference against the four senior judges of the Supreme Court including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed for misconduct and called for their removal as judges of the apex court.
The sources have confided that the 30-page reference along with the 384-page document to the Supreme Court registrar under Article 209 of the Constitution is nothing but what Senator Raza Abidi had been saying in the talk shows. A six-member committee, including Dr Khalid Ranjha, Senator Kazim Khan, Waqar Hassan Mir, Shaukat Umar Pirzada, Saiful Malook and Mirza Nasar Ahmad had drafted the reference.
The reference has accused the judges of, a) “Blatantly, by design and on purpose, transgressing and misusing their judicial authority and power; b) by design and for ulterior motives, usurping the authority, powers and territory of other constitutional offices and making them redundant in violation of the scheme of the constitution; c) Indiscriminate and biased use of so-called suo motu powers under Article 184 (3) of the constitution by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the chief justice; and d) Violating the Code of Conduct in particular by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the Chief Justice.”
The reference has been filed under clause 5 of Article 209. The constitution is silent about timeframe to hear the reference.
Many senior lawyers say that the LHCBA incumbent body, mostly belonging to PPP, after a three-judge bench verdict to hold the presidential election a week earlier than its schedule date had made up it mind to file the reference against the members of that bench. The reference is based on the LHCBA 30th July resolution, which demanded action against Supreme Court’s three judges - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sh Azmat Saeed.
Azhar Siddique said that a reference before the Supreme Judicial Council against a judge of superior courts cannot be filed on the basis of a judgment and the only remedy against a judgment is a review petition or an intra-court appeal.
However, Abid Saqi’s stance is that these four Supreme Court judges had been using the laws for their own personal benefits and the Supreme Court was no longer a court but had become a political field and judges were using it to snub their opponents. He alleged that these judges had even misused their powers in Arsalan Iftikhar case.
The LHCBA Rawalpindi bench had already passed a resolution opposing the resolution adopted by the bar at the principal seat. Taufiq Asif President LHCBA Rawalpindi bench termed the resolution a political stunt, which did not have any force of law. He said that a reference before the Supreme Judicial Council against the apex court judges was to create rift between the bench and the bar. “It is dangerous for the country and its institutions, particularly superior judiciary, which had got independence after great sacrifices,” he said.