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Former SC judge Mazhar Naqvi challenges SJC’s jurisdiction amid resignation fallout

Islamabad, 16 February, 2024 (GNP): Former Supreme Court Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi has rebuked the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), asserting its lack of jurisdiction to pursue proceedings against him following his resignation. The retired judge faces allegations of misconduct, which prompted a show-cause notice last October.

Justice Naqvi’s stance against the SJC’s proceedings came to light after the apex court rejected his plea to halt the investigation. Despite tendering his resignation due to what he termed as “publicly known circumstances,” the SJC persisted with its inquiry.

Recent revelations indicate that a private developer issued a substantial sum in banker’s cheques for a residential plot intended for Justice Naqvi, further complicating the matter.

In a bold move, Justice Naqvi addressed a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and all top court judges, condemning the treatment he received from the SJC as “disgraceful.”

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Citing legal precedent, Justice Naqvi emphasized that the SJC’s pursuit of Article 209 proceedings against him, post-resignation, lacked legal standing and was therefore “illegal and without lawful authority.”

Furthermore, he revoked the power of attorney granted to his legal representative, signaling his refusal to partake in proceedings he deems unconstitutional.

The unfolding dispute underscores broader concerns regarding the delineation of jurisdiction over retired or resigned judges, as highlighted in a recent apex court verdict.

As the SJC convenes to resume its hearing, Justice Naqvi’s steadfast challenge to the council’s authority sets the stage for a pivotal legal confrontation, shaping the contours of judicial accountability in Pakistan.