Sources said that at the very onset, the SJC will examine the material against the said two judges of the LHC and if it is satisfied, then either notices will be served on the judges or their reply will be sought.
The legal fraternity links activation of the SJC with the speech of the Chief Justice of Pakistan who upon taking up his office had asked the bar councils to activate disciplinary committees and had promised to activate the SJC to cleanse the superior judiciary.
The SJC is a constitutional body of judges empowered under Article 209 of the Constitution to hear cases of misconduct against the top judges and it comprises the Chief Justice of Pakistan and two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and two senior-most chief justices of the high courts.
The SJC will meet to take up complaints of alleged misconduct against Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Shahid Hameed Dar of the LHC. It is for the first time that the SJC has taken up a case against a member of the superior judiciary on its own. Prior to it, only the president of Pakistan could send a reference to the SJC against a member of the superior judiciary.
Tongues were wagging about the accountability of the judiciary and activation of the SJC is seen as a positive step towards the accountability of judges. Legal fraternity members, including senior lawyers of the Supreme Court, requesting not to be named, are of the view that besides activating the SJC, the superior judiciary shall also keep strict checks on induction into the superior judiciary which can save the judiciary from embarrassment in future. The lawyers say that before ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry’s case, almost all the judges against whom references were filed in the SJC, preferred to resign. There is no precedence of removal of any judge through the SJC in the recent history.
The lawyers say that after the recent amendment in the Article 209 of the Constitution, it is for the first time that a suo moto notice has been taken by the council. The Constitution says, “If, on information from any source, the Council or the President is of the opinion that a judge of the Supreme Court or of a high court- (a) may be incapable of properly performing the duties of his office by reason of physical or mental incapacity; or (b) may have been guilty of misconduct, the President shall direct the Council to, or the Council may, on its own motion, inquire into the matter.”
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily