The decision was announced by Justice Faez Isa led committee
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has restored the lawyer license of former Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui after concluding that the decision of his dismissal as a judge was not based on financial corruption or ethical grounds.
The decision was announced by the PBC’s three-member enrolment committee, headed by Justice Faez Isa. Syed Kalbe Hussain and Senator Azam Nazir Tarar are the other two members.
Shaukat Siddiqui had applied for the restoration of the licence on September 6 this year.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) removed him as IHC judge in 2018, days after he launched into a diatribe against the country’s premier intelligence agency the ISI while addressing a Rawalpindi Bar Association event.
By that time and in an unrelated development, Siddiqui had also faced allegations of financial corruption. However, a reference against him on those allegations remained pending. The said reference was filed in 2015 and stemmed from the heavy expenditure incurred on the renovation of Siddiqui’s government residence.
The PBC enrolment committee found that the SJC decision to remove Siddiqui had nothing to do with the corruption allegations against him. Hence, the committee ruled to restore his licence.
Former IHC judge awaits a decision on his appeal against the SJC decision to remove him.
Speaking to BBC Urdu after the ruling, Siddiqui said he would serve the downtrodden people as a lawyer.
Siddiqui will also pursue his appeal against the SJC decision so that he could “get justice” and win the privileges that he would have been entitled to if he had retired instead of being dismissed.
The former judge attained the superannuation while his appeal was still pending. He is unlikely to become a judge again, but the PBC enrolment committee decision allows him to practice law at higher courts.
Nevertheless, Siddiqui would not appear before the Islamabad High Court where he served as judge to uphold the tradition which forbids former judges to appear as lawyers before courts where they worked as a judge in the past.