28 December 2022
By Rehan Piracha
LAHORE: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has condemned the contents of a letter that Senator Azam Khan Swati of Pakistan Tehrik Insaf wrote to the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC).
In a statement issued on December 27, PBC Vice Chairman Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry termed Swati’s letter an attempt to malign the superior judiciary. “He (Senator Azam Swati) has made an effort to malign the institution of the judiciary,” said the PBC vice chairman.
“Mr Swati is the litigant petitioner and he has no right to dictate judges of the superior judiciary and shop for the judges of own choice and ask for constitution of benches,” he added.
PBC Vice Chairman Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry said the IHC Chief Justice was a very competent and upright person and his integrity was above doubt that could not be questioned by anyone, adding that the high court chief justice had always delivered judgments in accordance with the Constitution.
In a hand-written letter, Senator Azam Swati had expressed “no-confidence” in the bench of Justice Amir Farooq, the IHC chief justice, and requested him to transfer his bail plea to some other judge of the IHC. He had criticised the IHC chief justice for handing over his custody to the Sindh and Balochistan police where he was booked in 46 cases.
Swati should have approached appropriate forum: Amjad Shah
Speaking to Voicepk.net, Amjad Ali Shah, a former vice chairman of PBC, said Senator Azam Swati should not have written to the IHC chief justice being a litigant in an ongoing case before the judge. “In my opinion, if Swati had some grievances he should have approached the appropriate forum like the Supreme Court,” he said.
Amjad Ali Shah said it was inappropriate that Senator Swati now expressed mistrust of the IHC chief justice but he did not do so when he was confirming the judge as a member of the parliamentary committee on judges appointments. He said the PBC statement was issued on the basis that being a litigant petitioner he could cast aspersions on the judiciary.
According to Lateef Afridi, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, a litigant or an accused can express his grievances to the court but it should not amount to maligning the judge or levelling baseless allegations. In his opinion, the PBC is an independent institution representing lawyers and had issued the statement on Swati’s letter believing that it was maligning the judiciary.