The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has accepted an application by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui for an open trial of a corruption reference against him — marking the first time that such an application has been accepted in Pakistan.
The hearing will take place on July 30.
Siddiqui had challenged the SJC’s decision of not allowing an open trial in the Supreme Court. A five-member larger bench of the apex court had ruled that the SJC can hear a case against a judge in an open court — given that the judge on trial waives his/her right for in-camera proceedings. The SC had also asked the council to review its decision.
Justice Siddiqui is facing a reference on misconduct moved on the complaint by a retired employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for alleged refurbishment of official residence beyond entitlement.
On Feb 22, SJC had issued a show cause notice to Justice Siddiqui on another reference against him for making unnecessary and unwarranted comments about some “important constitutional institution saying such comments prima facie had the tendency of undermining the respect otherwise such constitutional institution enjoys”.