Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and president of the Awami Worker’s party Abid Hasan Minto has written to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) inquiring as to why the cases against SC Judge Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha are being taken up with such priority as opposed to other pending matters before the SJC.
In his letter he refers to a news item appearing in The Express Tribune on 15th of June that stated the SJC had disposed 398 references while 28 remained pending. Minto goes on to request the details of all disposed of cases, willing to pay for any expenses that would be incurred himself. He goes on to say that if the SJC is unable to fulfil this request then perhaps some of his questions can be answered. Before listing the questions, he points out that a refusal to provide the details he has asked for would be odd considering the finding/decision in Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s case is uploaded on the website of the Supreme Court.
Following are the five question posed by Minto to the SJC:
Q1: Since the Constitution does not make any distinction regarding the treatment of information received from the President or through any other source, what are the reasons for taking up the references against Justice Faez Isa and Justice K K Agha in preference to the other pending matters before the council?
Q2: Have any proceedings at all been taken to date in the other pending references?
Q3: Are there any references pending before the SJC that relate to any of the honourable judges that presently sit in the SJC, and if so, is it proper for those honourable judges to sit in the council until the references regarding them are first decided?
Q4: If there are no reasons to take up the matters pertaining to Justices Isa and Agha out of turn, then does not doing so indicate bias, disentitling the presently constituted council to continue its proceedings against the said judges?
Q5: Would the bias indicated in the preceding question (4) itself not constitute misconduct and if so, should this matter not first be decided by a reconstituted council in respect of each of its present members?
Minto ended his letter saying “SJC will be able to provide him with more than satisfactory responses which will address his concerns and put his anxiety to rest and he will happily be able to repose his faith in the council particularly and the superior judiciary generally. I trust that SJC will kindly forward this letter for the kind consideration of the council members and provide me with a response at the earliest.
A full copy of the letter is attached below.