SC issues notice to ex-DG ISI Faiz Hamid, others in Shaukat Aziz removal case


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director-general Faiz Hamid and others on former Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Azizi Siddiqui’s petition challenging his removal. 

The notices were also issued to former IHC chief justice Anwar Khan Kasi, former registrar of the Supreme Court Arbab Muhammad Arif and retired brigadier Irfan Ramay. 

A five-member bench led by CJP Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan conducted proceedings on the plea.

Today’s proceedings were broadcast live on the apex court’s website as well as on its YouTube channel.

A day earlier, the top court ordered Siddiqui to nominate former spy chief Hamid, former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and others in the plea against his dismissal.

The case was fixed for hearing earlier this month after the judge filed a miscellaneous application with the Supreme Court to conduct an early hearing of his plea against the decision by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on his dismissal.

Following the order, the ex-judge filed a plea seeking to make Gen Hamid, Gen (retd) Bajwa, Brigadier (retd) Irfan Ramay, Brigadier (retd) Faisal Marwat, former IHC chief justice Anwar Kasi, and ex-SC registrar Arbab Arif as parties in his case.

Lawyer Hamid Khan represented the former IHC judge in the case. 

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, lawyer Khan said that he was seeking the “impleadment” of the seven respondents.

Barrister Salahuddin, who is the lawyer of bar associations, said that he was also seeking the impleadement of the same persons except for Justice (retd) Anwar Kasi as he was already impleaded as respondent number 4 in his petition.

CJP then asked Khan if all the allegations made by the petitioner in his plea and speech were correct, to which he replied, “Yes, absolutely. I am not saying anything without taking responsibility for that.”

“You have filed a petition under Article 184(3),” said CJP Isa, adding that “if your accusation is correct then these [army generals] were facilitating someone to [become the prime minister]”.

“Your allegations mean that the [army generals] did not benefit themselves but their action caused harm to someone else while another one benefitted,” said CJP.

“If these allegations are proven to be true then you have started a probe against the Constitution,” CJP told Khan.

He asked if the people in Siddiqui’s petition were either benefiting themselves or someone else. “If those people were facilitating someone else then more people will also get trapped in this case,” he highlighted.

The chief justice then read out the points from Siddiqui’s speech.

“Who were they wanting to benefit?” asked the CJP, to which, Khan said that they wanted to get the results of 2018 polls of their own choice.

The CJP asked who was the beneficiary when all these people were facilitating someone.

“Is army an independent constitution or subordinate to government?” asked the chief justice.

Khan replied that it is a subordinate institution under the Constitution.

Barriester Salahuddin then said that things should be done step-by-step, at which the CJP said that everything is interconnected.

“Either he [Khan] should say that they are independent and not interconnected. There is a specific allegation that has come before us is the manipulation that was being planned for the elections to keep certain people or certain parties out and to benefit somebody else,” the CJP said.

The top judge inquired whether the court should close its eyes on that aspect and only focus on where the petitioner wanted to take the court.

Salahuddin said that the allegations were also levelled that manoeuvring was done within the judiciary by certain military officers in order to keep one individual out of electoral politics.

“Why are shying from taking names?” asked CJP from Salahuddin, to which he named Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and his opponents.

“What is the interest of Islamabad and Karachi Bar Association in the matter? Is your only concern to secure pensionary benefits? asked CJP.

At this, Barrister Salahuddin replied that their interest and leading prayer is “that if there is some judicial manipulation that has taken place if those allegations are correct, then the truth must out and the guilty parties must also be punished for those actions.”