To the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan, Qazi Faez Isa,
I write to you as a concerned citizen, urging your esteemed office to revisit and rectify the case of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, the senior puisne judge of the Islamabad High Court, who was removed from his post on October 11, 2018. The removal came as a result of a series of allegations he made, particularly during a speech on July 21, 2018, concerning interference within the judiciary by state institutions, specifically the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). His allegations were grave, yet were dismissed due to a lack of substantive proof, eventually leading to a verdict of misconduct against him by his peers in the judiciary.
The concern here arises from the unfolding of events that led to Justice Siddiqui’s removal. Following his allegations, Justice Siddiqui sought a commission to probe the authenticity and truthfulness of the facts he presented, a request that seemed to go unheeded. The subsequent inquiry by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) appeared to focus more on the propriety of Justice Siddiqui’s public disclosures rather than the veracity of his claims.
Justice Siddiqui’s allegations shed light on a potential threat to the independence and integrity of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of a democratic society. If these allegations hold any merit, they demand a thorough and unbiased investigation. Despite the lack of material evidence from Justice Siddiqui, the gravity of his claims concerning the manipulation of judicial proceedings is such that it warrants a more profound inquiry, possibly under a different mechanism that ensures impartiality and transparency.
Justice Siddiqui’s removal sends a perturbing message to the judiciary and the public at large. It insinuates a perilous precedent where judges may fear reprisal for speaking out against possible injustices within the system. This scenario is detrimental to the essence of judicial independence and the rule of law.
I acknowledge that the conduct of a judge, both in personal and professional capacities, should adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. However, in a scenario where a judge believes the judicial system is being undermined, there must be a secure and transparent avenue for such concerns to be raised and investigated.
I entreat you, Honorable Chief Justice, to consider a re-evaluation of Justice Siddiqui’s case, not merely for the individual at its core but for the broader implications it holds for judicial independence, transparency, and the rule of law in our beloved nation.
A reconsideration of this case under a transparent and unbiased lens would not only serve justice but would also reinforce public trust in the judicial system. It may also provide an opportunity for introspection within the judiciary to fortify its foundations against any potential external influences.
I have faith that under your leadership, justice will not only be done, but will be seen to be done.