ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has wondered why the fundamental right to fair trial enshrined in Article 10-A of the constitution cannot be applied in cases pertaining to the superior judges.
The development came on Tuesday during the hearing of a petition filed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, a serving judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), wherein he has appealed for an open trial before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). A five-judge larger bench of the apex court is hearing the petition of Justice Siddiqui, who has been accused of misconduct.
“If Article 10-A can be applied in ensuring the rights of an office boy then why can it not be applicable in judges’ matters?” asked Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, a member of the bench, adding that the matter was essential in ensuring the independence of judiciary.
The top court judge also observed that there were over 100 questions involved in the matter. Later, the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday (tomorrow) due to non-availability of the IHC judge’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan.
On May 18, the SJC had dismissed the plea by Justice Siddiqui for an open trial in the case. But, in his 14-page constitutional petition, the IHC judge requested the apex court to declare SJC’s May 18 order null and void, arguing that it was passed without lawful authority. The council is scheduled to resume hearing the case today (Tuesday) to record evidence against the IHC judge.