Appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS shall be continued for six months: Pakistan SC-28/11/2019

Observed: Article 243 of the Constitution, therefore, clearly shows that the President shall, subject to law, raise and maintain the military, however, the laws referred to above do not specify the tenure, retirement, re-appointment and extension of the COAS or of a General of the Pakistan Army.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

(Original Jurisdiction)

PRESENT:

Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, CJ Mr. Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019

(Against Extension of Tenure of Chief of the Army Staff)

The Jurists Foundation through its Chairman         …Petitioner

versus

Federal Government through Secretary Ministry of Defence, etc. …Respondents

Petitioner: In person.

For the respondents: Mr. Anwar Mansoor Khan, Attorney-General for Pakistan with

Mr. Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, Addl. Attorney-General

Mr. Amir-ur-Rehman, Addl. Attorney General

Ch. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Addl. Attorney General.

Mr. Sohail Mehmood, Dy. Attorney General.

Mian Asghar Ali, Dy. Attorney General. Assisted by Ms. Faryal Shah Afridi, Advocate.

Syed Iqbal Hussain, ASC.

Brig. Falak Naz, Director (Law), M/o Defence.

Flt. Lt. Khalid Abbas, Asst. Director (Law), M/o Defence.

Brig. Muhammad Khalid Khan, JAG Department, GHQ.

Lt. Col Rai Tanveer Ahmed Kharral, OIC, JAG Department, GHQ.

Dr. Farogh Nasim, ASC for respondent No.4, alongwith
Mr. Abid S. Zuberi, ASC.

assisted by M/s Ayan Memon, Mr. Shahid Naseem Gondal & Barriser Neelum Bukhari.

Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019

Date of hearing: 28.11.2019

ORDER

For detailed reasons to be recorded later we pass the following short order:-

2. The extension/reappointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff (“COAS”) has been challenged before us. In the proceedings before us during the last three days the Federal Government has moved from one position to another referring to it as reappointment, limiting of retirement or extension of tenure and has also interchangeably placed reliance on Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (“Constitution”) and Regulation 255 of the Army Regulations (Rules), 1998. However, finally today the Federal Government through the learned Attorney General for Pakistan has presented this Court with a recent summary approved by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister along with Notification dated 28.11.2019 which shows that General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been appointed as COAS under Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution with effect from 28.11.2019.

3. We have examined Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution, Pakistan Army Act, 1952, Pakistan Army Act Rules, 1954 and Army Regulations (Rules), 1998 and inspite of the assistance rendered by the learned Attorney-General, we could not find any provision relating to the tenure of COAS or of a General and whether the COAS can be reappointed or his term can be extended or his retirement can be limited or suspended under the Constitution or the law. The learned Attorney-General has taken pains to explain that the answers to these questions are based on practice being followed in the Pakistan Army but the said practice has not been codified under the law.

4. Article 243 of the Constitution clearly mandates that the Federal Government shall have control and command of the Armed Forces and the supreme command of the Armed Forces Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019 3 shall vest in the President. It further provides that the President shall, subject to law, have power to raise and maintain the military, etc. and it is the President who on the advice of the Prime Minister shall appoint, inter alia, COAS. Article 243 of the Constitution, therefore, clearly shows that the President shall, subject to law, raise and maintain the military, however, the laws referred to above do not specify the tenure, retirement, re-appointment and extension of the COAS or of a General of the Pakistan Army.

5. The learned Attorney-General has categorically assured the Court that this practice being followed is to be codified under the law and undertakes that the Federal Government shall initiate the process to carry out the necessary legislation in this regard and seeks a period of six months for getting the needful done. Considering that the COAS is responsible for the command, discipline, training, administration, organization and preparedness for war of the Army and is the Chief Executive in General Headquarters, we, while exercising judicial restraint, find it appropriate to leave the matter to the Parliament and the Federal Government to clearly specify the terms and conditions of service of the COAS through an Act of Parliament and to clarify the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution in this regard. Therefore, the current appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS shall be subject to the said legislation and shall continue for a period of six months from today, whereafter the new legislation shall determine his tenure and other terms and conditions of service.

6. This petition is disposed of in the above terms.

Chief Justice

Judge

Islamabad,

28th November, 2019
Approved for reporting.
Judge
Sadaqat

Pakistan SC suspended government notification extending tenure of Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years- 26/11/2019

The Jurists Foundation thr. its Chairman v. Federal Govt. thr. Secty M/O Defence and others

“The stated purpose for the proposed re-appointment/extension in the term of office of the incumbent Chief of the Army Staff is “regional security environment”. The said words are quite vague and if at all there is any regional security threat then it is the gallant armed forces of the country as an institution which are to meet the said threat and an individual’s role in that regard may be minimal. If the said reason is held to be correct and valid then every person serving in the armed forces would claim re-appointment/extension in his service on the basis of the said reason”.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN

(Original Jurisdiction)

PRESENT:

Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, CJ Mr. Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019

(Against Extension of Tenure of Chief of Army Staff)

The Jurists Foundation through its Chairman  …Petitioner

versus

Federal Government through Secretary Ministry of Defence, etc……Respondents

For the petitioner: Nemo.
For the respondents: Mr. Anwar Mansoor Khan, Attorney-
General for Pakistan
Mian Asghar Ali, Deputy Attorney-
General for Pakistan

Date of hearing: 26.11.2019

ORDER

Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, CJ.: The Court-Associate has produced before us a handwritten application statedly submitted by the petitioner seeking permission to withdraw this petition. The petitioner has failed to appear in person nor anybody else has appeared on his behalf. The application received does not carry any date and the same is not accompanied by any affidavit. There is nothing before us to accept or to presume that the said application has actually been submitted by the petitioner himself or that he has submitted the same voluntarily. Be that as it may the petition in hand invokes Article 184(3) of the Constitution and the subject matter of the petition involves a question of public importance with reference to enforcement of fundamental rights and, thus, the individual capacity of the petitioner pales into insignificance even if he decides not to pursue the present petition. The application attributed to the petitioner is, therefore, not entertained.

2. The learned Attorney-General for Pakistan is in attendance on his own and he has presented before us photocopies of many documents leading to an order passed by the President approving the summary sent to him by the Prime Minister along with his advice for extension/re-appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff for a fresh term of three years in that office after expiry of his first term in that office. With the assistance of the learned Attorney-General for Pakistan we have gone through the said documents and have ex facie noticed the following things:

i) A summary had initially been moved by the Ministry of Defence for extension of the term of office of the Chief of the Army Staff and subsequently he was appointed as Chief of the Army Staff for a second term of three years after completion of his first term in that office but the learned Attorney-General for Pakistan has not been able to refer to any provision in any legal instrument regarding extension in service of a Chief of the Army Staff upon completion of his first term in that office or for his re-appointment to that office after completion of his first term.

ii) In the case in hand the Prime Minister had himself passed an order appointing the current Chief of the Army Staff for a second term in that office on 19.08.2019 whereas under Article 243 of the Constitution it is the President who is the appointing authority for that office. Apparently that mistake came to notice straightaway and on the same day, i.e. 19.08.2019 a summary was moved from the Prime Minister’s office to the President for extension/re-appointment of the incumbent Chief of the Army Staff and on that very day, i.e. 19.08.2019 the President was pleased to approve the summary in that regard and, hence, the advice of the Prime Minister was apparently accepted and acted upon. It appears that even that process was found to be flawed and on that very day it was realized that the Prime Minister or the President could not take the above mentioned actions without the

Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019 3

approval of the Cabinet and, thus, on the next day, i.e. 20.08.2019 a summary was moved in the relevant regard for approval of the Cabinet and on 21.08.2019 the Cabinet was said to have approved the said proposal through circulation. The opinion of the Cabinet recorded in this regard, photocopies whereof have been produced before us, shows that there are 25 members of the Cabinet and out of those 25 members only 11 had agreed to the proposal which shows that the majority of the Cabinet had not approved the said proposal. Yet another peculiar aspect is that after the purported or so-called approval of the Cabinet regarding extension/re-appointment of the incumbent Chief of the Army Staff the matter was never sent to the Prime Minister or the President again for the purposes of a fresh advice or a fresh order of the Prime Minister and the President respectively.

iii) After our repeated queries the learned Attorney-General for Pakistan has referred to Regulation No. 255 of the Army Regulations (Rules) according to which a retirement of an Army officer can temporarily be suspended or limited. By placing reliance upon the said Regulation the learned Attorney-General for Pakistan has maintained that the Federal Government has the requisite authority to re-appoint or extend the services of an incumbent Chief of the Army Staff prior to his retirement if the exigencies of the service so require or the public interest so demands. A bare perusal of Regulation No. 255, however, prima facie shows that the said provision can be invoked after an officer has already retired from service and that is why the said Regulation speaks of suspension of retirement or limiting of retirement. Suspending a retirement or limiting a retirement before the retirement has actually taken effect may amount to putting the cart before the horse. The learned Attorney-General for Pakistan has, however, very candidly submitted before us that in the entire body of laws pertaining to the Pakistan Army there is no express provision available regarding re-appointment or extension in the service of a Chief of the Army Staff.

iv) The stated purpose for the proposed re-appointment/extension in the term of office of the incumbent Chief of the Army Staff is “regional security environment”. The said words are quite vague and if at all there is any regional security threat then it is the gallant armed forces of the country as an institution which are to meet the said threat and an individual’s role in that regard may be minimal. If the said reason is held to be correct and valid then every person serving in the armed forces would claim re-appointment/extension in his service on the basis of the said reason.

3. The points noted above call for a detailed examination of the matter of extension/re-appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff and, therefore, he is hereby made a respondent to this petition and the office is directed to carry out the necessary addition in the memorandum of this petition. Let notice of this petition be issued to all the respondents for Constitution Petition No. 39 of 2019 tomorrow, i.e. 27.11.2019, as requested by the learned Attorney-General for Pakistan. In the meanwhile the operation of the impugned order/Notification in respect of extension/re-appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff for another term in the said office shall remain suspended.

Chief Justice

Judge

Judge

Islamabad

26.11.2019


In re: Supreme Judicial Council No. 427 of 2019 – PAKISTAN 19/08/2019

In this view of the matter the alleged impropriety in the private letters written by the respondent-Judge to the President has not been found by us to be serious or grave enough to constitute misconduct sufficient for his removal from the exalted office of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

BEFORE THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COUNCIL PAKISTAN

PRESENT: Chairman
Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, CJP
Mr. Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Judge, SCP Member
Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, Judge, SCP Member
Mr. Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, Chief Justice, HCS Member
Mr. Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Chief Justice, PHC Member

In re: Supreme Judicial Council No. 427 of 2019

(Information under Article 209 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 against Mr. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan)

In attendance: Mr. Waheed Shahzad Butt (Informant in person)

Date of hearing: 19.08.2019

ORDER

Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, CJP (Chairman):

The subject information was supplied to this Council by the informant namely Mr. Waheed Shahzad Butt, Advocate High Court, Lahore through a letter dated 12.06.2019 calling upon the Council to hold an inquiry under Article 209 of the Constitution against Mr. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, an Honourable Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as “the respondent-Judge”). According to the informant after filing of a Reference by the President of Pakistan against the respondent-Judge under Article 209 of the Constitution directing this Council to inquire into the conduct of the respondent-Judge for not disclosing in his Income-Tax returns and Wealth Statements acquisition of three properties in the United Kingdom, possibly through indulging in money-laundering, in the names of his spouse and children the respondent-Judge had, instead of explaining the sources of funds for such acquisition of properties, repeatedly written letters to the President demanding provision to him of a copy of the Reference so filed, alleging that the contents of the Reference had been leaked to the media so as to launch a smear campaign against him and also requiring the Prime Minister of Pakistan to disclose the assets of his different wives and children. It was alleged by the informant that the letters written by the respondent-Judge were leaked to the media generating an unnecessary public controversy, the language used in the letters was offensive, the Prime Minister of Pakistan was targeted and unduly dragged by the respondent-Judge into the controversy and unsubstantiated allegations were leveled against the President and other holders of offices in the Federal Cabinet and Government regarding leaking the contents of the Reference to the media. The informant had maintained that the above mentioned conduct of the respondent-Judge fell foul of different Articles of the Code of Conduct for Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts prescribed by this Council.

2. After receipt of the information the Chairman of this Council had sought an opinion of one of the Members of the Council namely Honourable Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed in terms of the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005 and after receipt of his lordship’s opinion in the matter the information received and the opinion rendered were put up before the Council on 12.07.2019 and after deliberating upon the matter the Council had decided to issue a show cause notice to the respondent-Judge. An interim reply of the respondent-Judge to the show cause notice so issued has been received and the same has been perused.

3. In his interim reply to the show cause notice the respondent-Judge has admitted writing of the relevant letters but has denied leaking the same to the media and has taken the following stands:

(i) The Secretary of this Council had shown unusual haste in processing the present information;

(ii) the opinion rendered by Honourable Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed was not in terms of the requirements of the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005;

(iii) the show cause notice had not been issued by the Council and the same had been issued by the Secretary of the Council which was in violation of the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005;

(iv) the Secretary of the Council entertains prejudice and bias against the respondent-Judge;

(v) sufficient material was not available before the Council to issue a show cause notice to the respondent-Judge;

(vi) the informant’s credentials and motivations are doubtful and mala fide;

(vii) In his meeting with the Chief Justice of Pakistan the respondent-Judge was not advised against writing a letter to the President;

(viii) the present information had been taken up by the Council out of turn which impinged upon bona fide of the exercise;

(ix) the proceedings of the Council had been taken and the respondent-Judge was required to file his reply to the show cause notice at a time when he was availing sanctioned leave during the Summer Vacation of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, many senior lawyers who could be consulted by the respondent-Judge were abroad and the respondent-Judge and his immediate family were under stress at the relevant time due to medical conditions of the father-in-law and the daughter of the respondent-Judge;

(x) unlike the proceedings in the President’s Reference filed against the respondent-Judge initial response of the respondent-Judge was not sought by the Council in connection with the present information; and

(xi) writing of a letter by a Judge of the Supreme Court to the President of the country does not ipso facto amount to misconduct on the part of the Judge.

4. We have gone through the information supplied by the informant along with the documents annexed therewith and have heard him in person and have also perused the show cause notice issued to the respondent-Judge and his interim reply to the same. After deliberating upon the matter from diverse angles we proceed to record our conclusions in the following paragraphs.

5. The respondent-Judge had written three letters to the President and they were dated 28.05.2019, 03.06.2019 and 12.06.2019. In all of those letters the respondent-Judge had maintained that he had come to know through the media that the President had filed a Reference against him before this Council. He had also expressly maintained in those letters that he was left only to speculate about the contents of the Reference and about the allegations leveled therein and, therefore, through his letters he had demanded that the President ought to supply a copy of the Reference to him so that he might know the exact nature of the allegations leveled therein. In his interim reply to the show cause notice the respondent-Judge has referred to a meeting with the Chief Justice of Pakistan in which meeting a request made by the respondent-Judge for supply of a copy of the Reference was statedly not acceded to by the Chief Justice. It is unfortunate that the respondent-Judge has found it appropriate not only to refer to a private meeting with the Chief Justice but also to a private conversation taking place in that meeting without even seeking permission of the other participant of such meeting and conversation. It is also quite unfortunate that the respondent-Judge has been selective in his references to the meeting and the conversation taking place therein. The Chief Justice has the highest personal and professional regard for the respondent-Judge but for the sake of the record only, and for completing the picture left by the respondent-Judge unfinished, the Chief Justice has shared with the Members of the Council the following details of the relevant meeting and the conversation taking place therein with the respondent-Judge:

Soon after receiving the Reference filed by the President against the respondent-Judge the Registrar of the Supreme Court (who is also the Secretary of this Council) brought the said Reference to the Chief Justice’s Chamber for the latter’s information and perusal because the Chief Justice is also the Chairman of this Council. After perusal of the Reference and brooding over the matter the Chief Justice thought it fit to straightaway informally apprise the respondent-Judge of filing of the Reference and of the contents of the same. The respondent- Judge was then contacted by the Chief Justice on intercom with a request to come over to the Chief Justice’s Chamber which the respondent-Judge was kind enough to do. The Chief Justice then informed the respondent-Judge about receipt of the Reference from the President and asked him to read the same for his information. The respondent-Judge then sat down and read the entire Reference and took his time in doing so. During such reading he asked for a paper and pencil for taking notes which were supplied to him by the Chief Justice personally. After reading the Reference and taking notes the respondent-Judge said that he wanted to write to the President asking for a copy of the Reference to which the Chief Justice responded by saying that under the Constitution the President could require the Council to inquire into the conduct of a Judge but he was not obliged to provide a copy of the Reference to the concerned Judge. The respondent-Judge then requested the Chief Justice to provide him a copy of the Reference but the Chief Justice told him that it was not for the Chief Justice but for the Council to provide a copy of a Reference to the concerned Judge if and when the Council felt persuaded to proceed against him. At this the respondent-Judge expressed his determination to write to the President on the subject and asked the Chief Justice whether such a letter should be routed through the Chief Justice or the Registrar of the Supreme Court or it should be written directly to the President to which the Chief Justice said that he had never written such letters and, therefore, he was not in any position to advise the respondent-Judge in that regard. The Chief Justice added that writing of such a letter might unnecessarily complicate things.

Some other details of the conversation taking place between the respondent-Judge and the Chief Justice on that occasion have not been shared by the Chief Justice with the Members of this Council because they are not directly relevant to the information under consideration. The above mentioned details of the meeting taking place between the Chief Justice and the respondent-Judge and of the conversation taking place in that meeting would not have been shared by the Chief Justice with the Members of this Council if the respondent-Judge had not referred to such meeting or conversation in his interim reply to the show cause notice, and that too selectively.

6. The three letters written by the respondent-Judge to the President clearly stated that till the writing of those letters the respondent-Judge did not know whether any Reference had actually been filed by the President against him or not and in any case he was unaware of the contents of and the allegations leveled in any such Reference if filed. The above mentioned meeting of the respondent-Judge with the Chief Justice of Pakistan shows that the respondent-Judge not only knew about filing of the Reference against him by the President but also about the actual contents thereof and the allegations leveled therein before he had started writing successive letters to the President on the subject professing his ignorance about the same. It is not for us to speculate as to why despite having direct and firsthand information in the relevant regards the respondent-Judge had chosen to write the relevant letters. In the same vein dragging the Prime Minister and his different spouses and children into the matter through such letters was in bad taste, to say the least. An allegation of misconduct leveled against a Judge could not be offset through an oblique allegation leveled by the Judge against some other constitutional functionary.

7. The above mentioned different stands taken by the respondent-Judge in his interim reply to the show cause notice have not been found by us to be carrying much weight. There was no unusual haste shown by the Secretary of this Council in processing the present information because at least from the month of January of this year all informations/complaints received under Article 209 of the Constitution and all other matters requiring attention of the Chief Justice of Pakistan in all his capacities are processed by the Registrar and his staff immediately without loss of any time and the record can vouch for that. The initial opinion rendered by Honourable Mr. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed requiring the Council as a whole to attend to the allegations leveled against the respondent-Judge showed that his lordship had found the allegations to be serious enough to be taken up by the Council and, thus, in substance and spirit the requirements of the relevant paragraph of the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005 stood complied with. It was the Council itself which had required a show cause notice to be issued against the respondent-Judge and the show cause notice then issued by the Secretary of the Council not only referred to that order of the Council but it also expressly stated that the same was being issued with the approval of the Council. In this view of the matter nothing turned on the show cause notice having been issued by the Secretary and not by the Council. The allegation that the Secretary of the Council entertains prejudice and bias against the respondent-Judge is a bald allegation which has not been substantiated through any material whatsoever. Apart from that it is the Council and not its Secretary which is to form its opinion vis-à-vis correctness or otherwise of the allegations leveled against the respondent-Judge. The question as to whether there was sufficient material available before the Council for issuing a show cause notice to the respondent-Judge or not was a question to be determined by the Council and not by the respondent-Judge. The circumstances of the matter mentioned above clearly demonstrate that the stated premise on which the relevant letters were written to the President was factually incorrect, dragging of the Prime Minister, his different spouses and children into the matter was distasteful and the basis of leveling allegations against a number of persons regarding leaking information about the Reference was nothing but presumptive. In these circumstances this Council had found that sufficient basis was available for issuing a show cause notice to the respondent-Judge and to seek his reply to the relevant questions and issues.

As regards the informant’s credentials or motivations opined by the respondent-Judge to be doubtful and mala fide suffice it to observe that in a matter like this it is the correctness and seriousness of the allegations of misconduct of a Judge upon which this Council is ordinarily focused and not on the credentials or antecedents of the informant. Apart from that the respondent-Judge has not been able to refer to anything concrete or substantial to bring in doubt the credentials or motivations of the informant in the present matter. As regards the meeting between the respondent-Judge and the Chief Justice of Pakistan enough has already been said in the preceding paragraphs. The assertion of the respondent-Judge that the present information against him had been taken up by the Council out of turn is merely speculative. As already mentioned above, all the informations/complaints filed under Article 209 of the Constitution are taken up for consideration by the Council immediately and at one given time many informations/complaints so received are passing through different stages of the process contemplated by the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005. During the pendency of the present information many other informations/complaints which were already in process have since been disposed of and during the interregnum many others have been received which are in process. Presently only about half a dozen other informations/complaints are pending before the Council and while being actively attended to they are passing through different stages of the requisite process. The respondent-Judge being on sanctioned leave during the Summer Vacation of the Supreme Court of Pakistan when he was called upon to submit his reply to the show cause notice, many senior lawyers who could be consulted by the respondent-Judge having proceeded abroad during the relevant period and medical condition of the father-in-law and the daughter of the respondent-Judge at the relevant time are factors which had no bearing upon the period of fourteen days fixed under the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005 for filing a reply to the show cause notice and the Council could not disregard the said part of the Procedure. It was for the Council to decide whether a response of the respondent-Judge ought to be sought in the present matter or not before issuing a show cause notice to him and the respondent-Judge cannot insist that the procedure adopted in one matter must also be adopted in all other matters.

Different allegations are leveled before the Council in different matters and the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005 empowers the Council to adopt any procedure suiting the requirements of any particular matter brought before it. And finally, writing of a letter by a Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court to the President of the country may not ipso facto amount to misconduct on the part of the Judge but if, inter alia, the premise on which the letter is written is demonstrably against the facts, the letter has a tendency to generate a public controversy involving the Judge or the President or the letter is written and allegedly leaked to the media in order to create support or sympathy in the public at large so as to influence a matter pending before a constitutional body like this Council then an inquiry into the conduct of such a Judge may be in order.

8. Despite the conclusions reached above we have pertinently noticed that in the information supplied by the informant he had not alleged that the contents of the letters written by the respondent-Judge to the President had been leaked to the media by the respondent-Judge himself. We have also questioned the informant appearing before us in person today in that regard and he has not been able to produce anything before us to establish that the respondent-Judge had revealed or disclosed anything about his relevant letters to anybody. In the absence of such an allegation having been leveled in the information and also in the complete absence of any material having been produced before the Council in support of such a possibility the complexion of the information against the respondent-Judge undergoes a metamorphosis reducing it merely to writing of private letters by him to the President. The purpose or the contents of such letters might appear to some to be oblique or objectionable but such letters were merely private letters not shown to be meant or intended to be read by anybody other than the addressee and those to whom they had been copied. As regards the contents of the said letters it could well be that after filing of the Reference against him by the President the respondent-Judge might have subjectively felt a sense of persecution at the hands of those whom he suspected and in that subjective sense of hounding he might have overstepped the sense of propriety vis-à-vis the contents of the letters written by him. The record shows that at the relevant time the respondent-Judge was also under some stress because of the medical condition of his father-in-law and the daughter which stress might have aggravated his sense of harassment and might have contributed towards outrunning of his discretion. In this view of the matter the alleged impropriety in the private letters written by the respondent-Judge to the President has not been found by us to be serious or grave enough to constitute misconduct sufficient for his removal from the exalted office of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This information/complaint is, therefore, filed.

HCJP/Chairman

Hon’ble Member-I Hon’ble Member-II

Hon’ble Member-III Hon’ble Member-IV

Islamabad

August 19, 2019

THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COUNCIL [Pakistan]PROCEDURE OF INQUIRY, 2005

The 17th Amendment to the Constitution brought a significant change in Article 209 of the Constitution. Prior to the Amendment, the Council could process only such matters as were referred to it by the President. Under the amended Article 209, the Council, besides a reference from the President, may, also on its own account, inquire into the conduct or capacity of a Judge of a Superior Court in Pakistan.Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan-Code of Conduct

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE HIGH COURTS
CODE OF CONDUCT TO BE OBSERVED BY JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PAKISTAN AND OF THE HIGH COURTS OF PAKISTAN
(Supreme Judicial Council)

NOTIFICATION

Islamabad, the 2nd September, 2009

No.F.SECRETARY-01/2009/SJC.-ln exercise of powers conferred by Article 209(8) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, the Supreme Judicial Council in its meeting on 8th August, 2009 approved the addition of a new Article No. XI in the Code of Conduct for Judges of the supreme Court and High Courts and in its meeting on 29th August, 2009 decided to publish the full text of amended Code of Conduct in the Gazette of Pakistan (Extraordinary) for information of all concerned as under:-

Code of Conduct for Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts (Framed by the Supreme Judicial Council under Article 128 (4) of the 1962 Constitution as amended upto date under Article 209 (8) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973).

The prime duty of a Judge as an individual is to present before the public an image of justice of the nation. As a member of his court, that duty is brought within the disciplines appropriate to a corporate body.

The Constitution, by declaring that all authority exercisable by the people is a sacred trust from Almighty Allah, makes it plain that the justice of this nation is of Divine origin. It connotes full implementation of the high principles, which are woven into the Constitution, as well as the universal requirements of natural justice. The oath of a Judge implies complete submission to the Constitution, and under the Constitution to the law. Subject to these governing obligations, his function of interpretation and application of the Constitution and the Law is to be discharged for the maintenance of the Rule of Law over the whole range of human activities within the nation.

To be a living embodiment of these powers, functions, and obligations calls for possession of the highest qualities of intellect and character. Equally, it imposes patterns of behavior, which are the hall-mark of distinction of a Judge among his fellow-men.

In this code, an attempt is made to indicate certain traditional requirements of behavior in the Judges of the Superior Courts, conducive to the achievement of a standard of justice worthy of the nation.

ARTICLE- I

On equiponderance stand the heavens and the earth. By equiponderance, oppression meaning unjust and unequal burdens is removed. The Judge’s task is to ensure that such equality should prevail in all things.

ARTICLE- II

A Judge should be God-fearing, law-abiding, abstemious, truthful of tongue, wise in opinion, cautious and forbearing, blameless, and untouched by greed. While dispensing justice, he should be strong without being rough, polite without being weak, awe inspires in his warnings and faithful to his word, always preserving calmness, balance and complete detachment, for the formation of correct conclusions in all matters coming before him.

In the matter of taking his seat and of rising from his seat, he shall be punctilious in point of time, mindful of the courtesies, careful to preserve the dignity of the Court, while maintaining an equal aspect towards all litigants as well as lawyers appearing before him.

ARTICLE- III

To be above reproach, and for this purpose to keep his conduct in all things, ‘official and private, free from impropriety is expected of a Judge.

ARTICLE- IV

A Judge must decline resolutely to act in a case involving his own interest, including those of persons whom he regards and treats as near relatives or close friend.

A Judge must rigidly refrain from entering into or continuing any business dealing, howsoever unimportant it may be, with any party to a case before him. Should the dealing be unavoidable, he must discontinue his connection with the case forthwith. A judge must refuse to deal with any case in which he has a connection with one party or its lawyer more than the other, or even with both parties and their lawyers.

To ensure that justice is not only done, but is also seen to be done, a Judge must avoid all possibility of his opinion or action in any case being swayed by any consideration of personal advantage, either direct or indirect.

ARTICLE- V

Functioning as he does in full view of the public, a Judge gets thereby all the publicity that is good for him. He should not seek more. In particular, he should not engage in any public controversy, least of all on a political question, notwithstanding that it involves a question of law.

ARTICLE- VI

A Judge should endeavor to avoid, as far as possible, being involved, either on his own behalf or on behalf of others, in litigation or in matters which are liable to lead to litigation such as industry, trade or speculative transactions.

To employ the influence of his position to gain undue advantage, whether immediate or future, is a grave fault.

A Judge must avoid incurring financial or other obligations to private institutions or persons such as may embarrass him in the performance of his functions.

ARTICLE- VII

Extra-Judicial duties or responsibilities, official or private, should be generally avoided. He should equally avoid being a candidate, for any elective office in any organization whatsoever.

ARTICLE- VIII

Gifts are to be received only from near relatives and close friends, and only such as are customary. Everything in the way of favours in consequence of the office must be refused. In accepting any entertainment offered, whether general or particular, care should be taken that its real purpose does not conflict with a Judge’s duty to maintain detachment from likely litigants, and from partisan activity.

ARTICLE- IX

In his judicial work, and his relations with other Judges, a Judge should act always for the maintenance of harmony within his own Court, as well as among all Courts and for the integrity of the institution of justice. Disagreement with the opinion of any Judge, whether of equal or of inferior status, should invariably be expressed in terms of courtesy and restraint.

ARTICLE- X

In this judicial work a Judge shall take all steps to decide cases within the shortest time, controlling effectively efforts made to prevent early disposal of cases and make every endeavor to minimize suffering of litigants by deciding cases expeditiously through proper written judgments. A Judge who is unmindful or indifferent towards this aspect of his duty is not faithful to his work, which is a grave fault.

ARTICLE- XI

No Judge of the superior judiciary shall render support in any manner whatsoever, including taking or administering oath in violation of the oath, of office prescribed in the Third Schedule to the Constitution, to any authority that acquires power otherwise than through the modes envisaged by the Constitution of Pakistan.

By order of the Council,

(Dr. Faqir Hussain)
Secretary

Pakistan Supreme Court convicted Mr. Talal Chaudhry, State Minster in Suo-moto Contempt proceeding

Mr. Talal Chaudhry made speeches on 24.01.2018 and 27.01.2018 wherein he by his words, gestures and tone not only defamed and scandalized the Court and its Judges but also tended to bring the Court and its Judges into hatred, ridicule and contempt, and thereby committed Contempt of Court within the meaning of Article 204(2) of the  Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 (Ordinance V of 2003) punishable under Section 5 of the Ordinance of 2003 within the cognizance of Supreme Court.

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Khawaja Asif is now eligible to contest in upcoming elections as held by Pakistan Supreme Court

A three-member bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Supreme Court of Pakistan set aside on Friday 31st June 2018  the lifetime disqualification of the former foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif. The bench, which also comprises Justices Faisal Arab and Sajjad Ali Shah, had earlier reserved its decision on the appeal filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz stalwart challenging his April 27 lifetime disqualification by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Asif had filed the appeal on May 2.

Asif on April 27  he was disqualified by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for failing to disclose his employment in a UAE company and the monthly salary he was receiving.

Khawaja Asif is now eligible to contest in upcoming elections, which are scheduled to be held on July 25.

Detailed Judgment is coming soon