ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, facing an inquiry by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), has urged Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and two other judges to step aside from the case.
The SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Naqvi last month, citing 10 complaints alleging misconduct and assets beyond means. The notice directed him to respond within two weeks.
The SJC, a constitutional body investigating misconduct allegations against Supreme and high court judges, includes the CJP, two senior-most Supreme Court judges, and two senior-most high courts’ chief justices.
Current SJC members are CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar.
Justice Naqvi, in his “preliminary reply” to the show-cause notice, raised concerns of “serious prejudice” and called for the recusal of CJP Isa, Justice Masood, and CJ Akhtar from hearing the matter. He argued that their participation tainted the proceedings with bias, rendering the orders without lawful authority.
Pointing to objections against the SJC’s composition, Justice Naqvi highlighted Justice Isa’s opposition to his nomination in the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) and the denial of information regarding JCP proceedings. He claimed this violated his fundamental rights to a fair trial, due process, and access to information.
Justice Naqvi also mentioned letters from Justices Isa and Masood urging former Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to expedite the complaints against him. He alleged bias in seeking prompt disposal without mentioning complaints against other judges.
Regarding an inquiry commission chaired by Justices Isa and Akhtar on alleged audio leaks, Justice Naqvi argued that the same leaks formed part of the SJC complaints, suggesting a conflict of interest.
Justice Naqvi criticized Justice Masood’s delayed opinions on complaints, submitted after Chief Justice Bandial’s retirement, and accused him of using derogatory language against him in interactions with court reporters.
Lastly, Justice Naqvi asserted that the complaints against him were frivolous, lacking evidence, and politically motivated. He concluded that the proceedings lacked legality, propriety, and transparency.