‘SC judge’s voluntary resignation to restore people’s trust in judiciary’

IHC Registrar Atiqur Rehman also removed from office

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Supreme Court judge Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman’s resignation on the heels of a reference submitted before the Supreme Judicial Council against him for making illegal appointments in the Islamabad High Court is seen as an act of uprightness and an example for all those involved in the illegal appointments. Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman was appointed as the first chief justice of the IHC on Jan 3, 2011 and was elevated to the Supreme Court as judge on Feb 25, 2013. A few days back, IHC Bar Association, Muhammad Waqas had filed a reference against him requesting the Supreme Judicial Council to restrain Justice Rehman from performing his duties. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on September 26, 2016 had termed over 70 appointments in the Islamabad High Court during Justice Hameed’s tenure when he was Chief Justice of the IHC illegal and in violation of merit. After the landmark judgment by the apex court, pressure is mounting on all those characters behind illegal appointments in IHC to voluntarily quit.
Former President of the Supreme Court Bar and senior lawyer Asma Jahangir while talking to media at the Cafeteria of the Islamabad High Court Bar, here Monday said that the resignation by Justice Hameedur Rehman would restore people’s confidence and trust in higher judiciary.
Asma Jahangir hoped another judge who was also found by the Supreme Court to be involved in illegal appointments would also follow the suit and step down. “If he (the other judge) doesn’t tender his resignation, there is least probability that people will go to his court for the sake of justice,” said Ms Jahangir.
Talking about the references in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), Asma Jahangir said the media should have access to report the proceedings of the SJC. However, it is also responsibility of the media not to quote/report frivolous references or make headlines on them. Only apparently correct, legal and serious references should be reported by media, she said.
It may be mentioned here that after the resignation of the Judge of the Supreme Court late Sunday night, Judges Committee of the Islamabad High Court constituted to review appointments in the IHC in the light of the Supreme Court’s September 26, 2016 judgment on Monday removed the Registrar of the IHC Mr Atiqur Rehman from his office.

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