SJC decides not to summon ex-judge Mazahir Naqvi’s sons as witnesses

Mazahar Naqvi says SJC ‘exceeding its powers’


ISLAMABAD (INP): The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has decided not to summon sons of former Supreme Court judge Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi as witnesses in a case of misconduct against him.

During its proceedings on Friday, the SJC directed the Attorney General of Pakistan to withdraw the notices to the extent of Mazahir Naqvi’s sons.

The open meeting of the Supreme Judicial Council was held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa which recorded the statements of four witnesses regarding the allotment of government plots to now-resigned judge Mazahir Naqvi.

The SJC adjourned further proceedings indefinitely.

Earlier, Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi said that after his resignation, the Supreme Judicial Council has “no jurisdiction to initiate or continue with any proceedings” against him.

“Notification of my resignation was also published in the gazet.” Alleging SJC of ‘exceeding its power’ the former judge said he is not bound to be part of the proceedings.

The former judge is facing an inquiry over allegations of misconduct, a show-cause notice about which was issued in October last year.

In a letter penned to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and all top court judges in December, he had stated that the treatment meted out to him by the SJC was “nothing short of disgraceful”.

After the apex court last month turned down his request to stay the proceedings, Justice Naqvi had tendered his resignation citing “circumstances which are a matter of public knowledge and to some extent public record”. His resignation was subsequently accepted by the president.

However, the SJC continued with the proceedings against him even though it awaits the outcome of an intra-court appeal by the federal government challenging an SC judgement (Afiya Shehrbano Zia) related to the jurisdiction over retired or resigned judges.

Yesterday, the SJC was informed that a private developer, Lahore Smart City (Pvt) Ltd, issued one of the two banker cheques of Rs50 million each for buying a residential plot in favour of Justice Naqvi.

In a letter to the SJC secretary, Mazahir Naqvi said that he was conveyed the Council’s order dated January 12 which showed that proceedings against him continued despite him having resigned and no longer remaining a SC judge after President Arif Alvi accepted his resignation.

The letter emerged on Friday and was not dated.

Noting that the Council was continuing with the proceedings under Article 209 of the Constitution, he stated: “This is to inform that as per the law and the Constitution as it stands today as well as past precedents, the SJC has no jurisdiction to initiate or continue with any proceedings under Article 209 of the Constitution in any matter pertaining to a person who is no longer holding the office of superior court i.e. high court or Supreme Court.”

The former judge further said that the January 12 order and subsequent proceedings were “illegal and without lawful authority”. He asserted that the SJC was “acting beyond its jurisdiction”.

“Therefore, I am neither obliged nor legally or constitutionally bound to participate in these proceedings which are without constitutional domain,” Justice Naqvi wrote.

Noting that Khawaja Harris Ahmad was representing him before the council, he said the power of attorney extended to the lawyer was “no more in [the] field and has become infructuous” as he was no longer a SC judge.

“However, to resolve any ambiguity in this regard, the power of attorney is hereby withdrawn and stands cancelled by the undersigned. You are therefore requested to inform the SJC accordingly,” the letter stated.

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