Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi – the Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan – has stepped down from his post following misconduct allegations today (Wednesday, January 10).
According to the media reports, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi said in a resignation letter sent to President Dr. Arif Alvi, “It was an honor to be appointed and to serve as a Judge first of the Lahore High Court, Lahore, and then as the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In the circumstances which are a matter of public knowledge and to some extent public record, it is no longer possible for me to continue to serve as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Considerations of due process also compel so. I, therefore. effective today resign as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
The reports further stated that the development came a day after the Supreme Court of Pakistan declined to halt the proceedings being conducted by the SJC against Justice Naqvi with the ruling that without hearing the case on merits, a stay cannot be granted.
A three-person panel of the supreme court, led by Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan and made up of Justices Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Musrat Hilali, heard Justice Mazahar’s appeal contesting the SJC proceedings and the show-cause notice he received about the misconduct charge. On October 27, of last year, the SJC sent Justice Naqvi a show-cause notice in response to multiple charges that the SC judge had engaged in financial wrongdoing and bench manipulation. The Pakistan Bar Council, attorney Mian Dawood, and other parties had lodged grievances against the judge of the Supreme Court.
In reply, the judge of the Supreme Court brought up concerns about the investigation and demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and two other justices step down from the case.
He disputed the SJC proceedings on November 20 and the show-cause notice that the council had sent him, claiming that the procedures had been started unlawfully and coram non-judice. The SJC then served a second show cause notice on November 22. This notice required the judge to provide a thorough response to the accusations made by several petitioners. Then, on January 4, Justice Naqvi filed a petition before the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, characterizing the misconduct accusations brought against him as an overt assault on the judiciary’s independence.
The name of the top court judge has also come up in the new audio leaks that allegedly include Parvez Elahi, the former chief minister of Punjab, and other people.