Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi resigns as SC judge

Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi resigns as SC judge
Source: File Photo

Islamabad (Web Desk): Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi of the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday resign from his office.

In his resignation letter sent to President Arif Alvi, Justice Naqvi wrote, "It was an honour 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 development comes a day after the top court rejected Justice Naqvi’s request to stay proceedings against him in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) over alleged misconduct.

On February 23, 2023 a reference was filed against Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi in the SJC accusing him of "misconduct" and "having assets beyond means".

Later, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Haroon Rashid filed separate complaint of misconduct in the SJC against Justice Naqvi after audio leaks emerged purportedly featuring a conversation about the fixation of a case with former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi.

The SJC, a forum of accountability of judges of the superior courts and top government officials, is comprised of five members, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, and two most senior chief justices of high courts.

In October 2023, the SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Naqvi in connection with 10 complaints lodged against him and directed the judge to submit a reply within two weeks.

Headed by CJP Isa, the SJC comprises Justice Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Lahore High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, and Balochistan High Court (BHC) CJ Naeem Akhtar.

In his response, Justice Naqvi raised issues with the inquiry and called for Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and two other judges to recuse themselves from the matter.

On November 20, he contested the SJC proceedings and also challenged the show-cause notice issued to him by the council, saying the initiation of proceedings was coram non-judice and without lawful authority.

On November 22, the SJC issued another show cause notice to Justice Naqvi demanding a detailed response from the judge regarding the allegations raised by multiple petitioners.

On January 4, he filed a petition in the SC under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, terming the misconduct complaints filed against him a direct and blatant attack on the independence of the judiciary.