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Sunday 26 January 2020

Pakistan: SJC quashes case of misconduct against SC judge

SC Judge Isa was accused of violating the Code of Conduct for judges by writing letters to the president

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Judicial Council on Monday quashed a case of misconduct against a Supreme Court judge, saying the charges against him are not “grave enough” to remove him from his position.

The SJC is the body to take up complaints against judges of higher courts and also recommend punitive actions, including removal from judiciary.

The Council on 18 July issued a notice to Justice Faez Isa for writing multiple letters to President Arif Alvi, seeking information about a case filed against him for failing to disclose foreign properties.

Isa was accused of violating the Code of Conduct for judges by writing letters to the president.

A case was filed in May against Isa, accusing him of concealing his properties in the United Kingdom allegedly held in the name of his wife and children. After the news hit headlines, the Supreme Court judge wrote multiple letters to President Alvi, asking him to confirm whether the reports were true.

The judge had complained that selective leaks of the case to the media amounted to his character assassination, thus jeopardising his right to due process and fair trial. He had also sought a copy of the reference.

In its ruling on Monday, the five-member Supreme Judicial Council headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that the Council did not find the matter of Justice Isa writing letters to the president “serious or grave enough to constitute misconduct sufficient for his removal from the exalted office of a judge of the Supreme Court”.

“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,” it said.

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