- Complaints filed against two ex-CJPs Nisar and Bandial.
- Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Ayesha Malik named in separate complaints.
- SC judge dismissed complaints after lack of substantiating evidence.
ISLAMABAD: A Supreme Court senior judge has recommended the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to dismiss four complaints of misconduct filed against two former chief justices and two judges of the apex court, deeming them unfounded.
These complaints were lodged by private citizens against former chief justices Mian Saqib Nisar and Umer Ata Bandial, as well as two apex court judges, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Ayesha A Malik.
One of the complainants alleged that a three-member bench of the apex court, comprised of former chief justices Nisar and Bandial, along with Justice Ijazul Ahsan, presided over a case involving interest. The primary issue was to determine whether the case pertained to compound interest or simple interest.
The senior judge has reviewed these complaints and recommended their dismissal due to a lack of substantiating evidence.
Ultimately, the bench ruled that it was a matter of simple interest. The complainant alleged that when the case was referred back to a lower court, former chief justice Nisar had exerted influence over the judge in the lower court.
The SJC, a body responsible for holding judges of the superior courts and high-ranking government officials accountable, consists of five members, including the chief justice of Pakistan, the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, and the two most senior chief justices of high courts.
By the SJC’s procedure, when it receives a complaint of misconduct against a judge, the chief justice of Pakistan, as the head of the council, refers the complaint to a senior member of the council for review and examination of its contents. After examining the contents of any complaint, the senior member then provides his opinion to the council.
Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, a senior judge and SJC member, after scrutinising the misconduct complaints found no substantiated claims of misconduct. He recommended that the complaints be declared baseless.
Sources suggest that Justice Masood had reasoned that since it was a judicial order issued by the apex court, it did not contain elements of misconduct, and therefore, no disciplinary proceedings could be initiated against the members of the bench.
Similarly, Justice Masood had also reviewed another complaint filed against Justice Malik and concluded that this complaint was also without merit. This complaint had been lodged against Justice Malik when she was a judge of the Lahore High Court.
It is worth mentioning that one complaint of misconduct against Justice Sayyed Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, a Supreme Court judge, is still pending with Justice Masood, and he has yet to provide his opinion to the SJC.
Initially, the misconduct complaint against Justice Naqvi was filed with the council by a lawyer based in Lahore during the tenure of former chief justice Bandial, levelling serious allegations.
Subsequently, the vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) had also filed a misconduct complaint against the judge, requesting an inquiry followed by his removal as a judge of the apex court.
The complaint against the judge was filed after leaked audio recordings, allegedly featuring a conversation about influencing the case’s outcome before a specific bench or judge, with former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi, surfaced.