Accountability of Judges of the Supreme Court



  • Justice Mian Saqib Nisar
    Chairman
    Supreme Judicial Council
    Supreme Court of Pakistan
    Islamabad.

    Subject: Complaint of misconduct against Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Supreme Court under Article 209 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan

    Dear Sir,

    Through this letter, I, Dr Qaisar Rashid, a member of public, bearing National Identity Card Number 35202-2878398-9 (copy attached as Annexure I), resident of 2-B, Ashrafia Park, Ferozepur Road, Lahore, invoke Article 209 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan by filing a written complaint of misconduct against Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, former Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC), Lahore, and current judge of the Supreme Court (SC).

    A brief background of the matter is that the Chairperson of Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, was appointed on 16.04.2014 for the determinate tenure of four years, but through a Writ Petition 17393/2014 [Dr Qaisar Rashid vs. Federation of Pakistan] – which was Quo Warranto in nature – as a petitioner, I challenged the appointment on 18.06.2014.

    In due course of regular fixture for three years, the administration of the LHC kept on sending the case for hearing mostly to judges who were not holding the position of permanent judges. Secondly, the administration of the LHC kept on sending the case mostly to judges who had to join Double Bench (DB) and in order to do so they had to call off their courts around 11:30 am, without resuming the hearing afterward. In this way, the case was found fixed for hearing on the cause list but was not called for hearing for a final decision. The staff of the judges pronounced such cases as “left-over” and either used to give a new date of hearing or send the cases back to the administration for relisting before some other judge.

    For a better description, the rest of the complaint is divided into three parts.

    Part I

    This part discovers the policy of protectionism practiced by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

    a. On 08.06.2015, I wrote a letter addressed to the then Chief Justice of the LHC to invite his attention towards the “left-over” problem being faced (copy attached as Annexure II). In the said letter I wrote: “At this juncture, as a petitioner, I am clueless how to make the case heard … I consider the whole scenario a reflexion of the lapse in the functioning of the Lahore High Court which has failed to perform its executive functions both in terms of calling the case (to be heard and decided) and making the office of the attorney general answerable”. However, I received no response and the trend of “left-over” continued unabated.

    b. On 25.04.2017, I wrote the second letter addressed to the Chief Justice of the LHC (this time to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah) and invited his attention towards the fact that about three years had been lapsed without any end of the case in sight [against the four year tenure of the Chairperson HEC] (copy attached as Annexure III). In this letter, I also wrote: “Now, we are in 2017 and I have a right to ask you to kindly provide me the disposal schedule for the said Writ Petition [before it gets infructuous]. I have paid my [three] lawyers in full and have attended all hearings including today at the court of Justice Mudassir Khalid Abbasi.”

    c. On 26.04.2017, I received a phone call on my cell number (03364189087) from someone’s cell number (03004900902) enquiring me how dared I wrote such a letter to the Chief Justice of the LHC and asked for the disposal schedule. Further, the caller threatened me of dire consequences. On my query who this person was and under what capacity he was making the phone call (as I conveyed him of my intention to file a written complaint against him), the caller replied that he was just a junior staff member of the LHC and that he was making the call on the direction of Additional Registrar Judicial of the LHC, Syed Shabbir Hussain Shah. Of this call and its contents, I immediately informed my lawyer Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro (who was an Advocate High Court) and requested him to file a Civil Miscellaneous (CM) for a day-to-day hearing of the case. It is pertinent to mention here that I had hired the legal services of Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro to file CMs for early hearings, etc.; otherwise, the main lawyer looking after my case was Malik Muhammad Nawaz who was an Advocate Supreme Court. Advocate Malik Muhammad Nawaz had got disappointed of finding any possibility for hearing and told me that he had squandered a lot of time in attending the courts for three years without any outcome in sight and that he should be invited only when there appeared any solid possibility for hearing.

    d. Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro filed a CM (and made my letter dated 08.06.2015 its integral part), but an objection was raised by the writ branch that a day-to-day hearing was not possible. Eventually the CM was fixed for hearing on 09.05.2017 before Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as an objection case (i.e. an objection on the maintainability of the case), under the Case Diary Number 40571/2017 (copy attached as Annexure IV).

    e. On 09.05.2017, before the arrival of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah to his court, I along with my lawyer Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro happened to have a look at the file being presented to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. To my surprise, the first document in the file was not the CM but my letter dated 25.04.2017 having the following portion underlined in red ink: “Now, we are in 2017 and I have a right to ask you to kindly provide me the disposal schedule for the said Writ Petition”. I was surprised because the said letter was supposed to stay in the administration part of the LHC, but it travelled to be the part of the file meant for a judicial decision. For the judicial side, my lawyer had filed the CM and this CM should have been the first document in the file. Nevertheless, the presence of the letter as the first document in the file raised an alarm because of the phone call I had received a few days ago. When the hearing of the CM started, right at its outset, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah snubbed my lawyer by saying that there was no practice of “left-over” in the LHC and that he (my lawyer) was making frivolous assertions. Denying the reality of “left-over” practised in the LHC and the implications of the stance of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah are the first basis of my complaint of misconduct against him.

    That is,

    The practice of “left-over” is a reality in the LHC devouring precious time and money of the public. No one including Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has a right or power to muffle the voice raised to highlight the condemnable “left-over” practice rampant in the LHC. There is present no complaint cell in the LHC which could record the agony of the public sprouting from “left-over”. The “left-over” practice suits to those litigants who want to keep their cases pending (or undecided) over a long stretch of time. For instance, in my case, the “left-over” practice favoured the lawyers representing the HEC for delaying the decision on the case for three years. By suppressing the voice against the “left-over” practice, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah diminished the chances for improvement in the functioning of the LHC, the improvement which could benefit hundreds of members of public the cases of whom become victims to “left-over” daily.

    While claiming that there was no practice of “left-over” in the LHC, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah overlooked the fact that I attended all the fixtures (hearing dates) in person and each time, over the period of three years, I kept waiting until the courts were called off. Secondly, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah made this claim without conducting any enquiry into my complaint as a necessary pre-requisite before drawing a conclusion. In fact, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah protected the administration of the LHC against a member of public. Thirdly, by claiming that there was no practice of “left-over” in the LHC, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah encouraged the administration of the LHC to carry on their practice of displaying a false sense of performance through issuing cause lists but without any possibility for hearing the cases under the practice of “left-over”.

    The protection offered by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah to the administration of the LHC is detrimental to the interests of the public at large who visit the LHC daily for getting their grievances addressed and who pay from their pockets hefty salaries and perquisites of all the judges and the administration staff of the LHC.

    The point is simple: if protectionism is apposite, legalize or formalize it through law (or legislation). Why is it so that the chief judge practices protectionism for his subordinate staff and earns accolades and their loyalty, but if a head of any other institution practices the same, he is derided and punished by the same judge. In this way, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is guilty of promoting hypocrisy both inside the LHC and in society.

    The conduct of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in this regard is unbecoming of the Chief Justice of the LHC. Through protectionism, he has thrown the public at large to the disposal of the administration of the LHC.

    f. On 09.05.2017, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said that he sustained the objection raised by the writ branch/office and hence the day-to-day hearing was not possible. On the same day, the staffer (munshi) of my lawyer Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro applied for the copy of the outcome of the CM (objection case).

    g. On 18.05.2017, again the cause list was issued for regular hearing in the court of Justice Mudassir Khalid Abbasi, and again the court remained functional from 9 am to 11:30 am, and again my Writ Petition was “left-over”, to this I again wrote a letter to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah (copy attached as Annexure V). The staff of the judge later on (after they came back from attending the double bench) declared 11.09.2017 the next date of hearing. This point led me to write a letter dated 20.05.2017 under the subject, “Formal complaint against the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court”, addressed to Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad (copy attached as Annexure VI).

    These points take the discussion to the next part.

    Part II

    This part exposes a barefaced lie of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah

    a. On 30.05.2017, the copy supply section of the LHC issued the true copy of the CM (having the case diary number 40571/2017) which was having two paras (copy attached as Annexure VII). The first para was about sustaining the objection of maintainability raised by the office. However, there was present the second para saying to my utter surprise the following: “Learned counsel insists that the main case be taken up by this Court due to urgency in the matter. Keeping this request in view, the main case is taken up today.” This statement of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is a blatant lie.

    b. Luckily, I was a witness to the hearing. My counsel did not at all request Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah to take up the case – let alone insistence. The lie told by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in his decision is the second basis of my complaint of misconduct against him.

    That is,

    By writing such a statement in his decision (on the order sheet), Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is guilty of breaching my faith in the chair of a judge generally and in the office of the chief justice particularly. Telling a lie is unbecoming of a judge and renders Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah misfit for even the job of a judge – not to say the chief judge. I am still stunned to find out that the chief judge of a province could be so barefaced.

    Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah overlooked the fact that he did not enjoy unfettered discretionary powers to do whatever he deemed fit: the discretionary powers vested in the office of a judge or a chief judge are also defined by certain limits – at least these do not empower him to tell a lie and swivel the whole case around. The seat of the chief justice of LHC is a trust and no chief judge can transgress the boundaries of honesty and scrupulousness.

    Advocate Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro could have never requested the court to take up the matter then and there because he was not the main lawyer in my case, nor was he paid for that. Instead, he was there just to defend the CM for day-to-day hearing of the case (the task to accomplish which his legal services were hired). Nevertheless, this reprehensible act of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah answered a question why young lawyers insult and resort to attacking judges in the courts.

    Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah overlooked that fact that, as a senior, he taught a junior lawyer, Chaudhry Imran Arshad Naro, the lesson of deceit with effrontery. By not being honest and upright, if a judge does not respect the office he is holding, why he should expect from others to respect his office. Instilling respect in the hearts of people through one’s diligence, probity and rectitude is a weapon far stronger than the formidable tool of Contempt of Court.

    The ease with which Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has done such an act (tantamount to perjury, i.e. lying when under oath) means that he is habitual of doing the same act over a length of time and perhaps no one has made him accountable for the same, except this time. This judge should not only be unfrocked but he should also be meted out due punishment for such an act of malfeasance.

    These points take the discussion to the next part.

    Part III

    This part exposes certain grave flaws in the decision he took on Writ Petition 17393/2014.

    a. On another page of order sheet, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah writes that he heard the full case on 09.05.2017 and found no force in the instant petition which was therefore dismissed (copy attached as Annexure VIII).

    b. This order sheet reveals the dismal state of the expertise of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as a judge, who further writes: “I have gone through the record. Section 5(1) of the [HEC] Ordinance [2002] states as under:- ‘(1) The Controlling Authority shall appoint a person of international eminence and proven ability who has made significant contribution to higher education as teacher, researcher, or administrator, as Chairperson on such terms and conditions as it may determine.’ The qualifications for the post of a chairperson are that he should be a person of international eminence, who has made significant contribution to higher education as a teacher, researcher or administrator. Curriculum Vitae of respondent No. 2 [the incumbent Chairperson of the HEC], which has already been placed on the record by the petitioner, reveals that respondent No. 2 holds a Ph.D in Botany, University of California, USA, and MBA/MS from the same university and M.Sc honours from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.”

    c. It is apparent that, despite his claim that he went through the record, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah did not read Writ Petition 17393/2014. In fact, he solely relied on one of its annexures displaying the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, the incumbent Chairperson of the HEC and the respondent No. 2, overlooking the fact that there were attached other five CVs (of Dr Najma Najam, Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar, Dr Javed Legari, Dr Muhammad Qasim Jan and Dr Nizam Uddin) for a comparative analysis in the annexure part of the same Writ Petition (copy attached as Annexure IX). This is where Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has been caught red handed in displaying his privation of analytical skills and such a radical deficiency in a judge is the third basis of my complaint of misconduct against Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.

    That is,

    Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is unaware of the meaning of certain terms used in Section 5(1) of the HEC Ordinance 2002, such as a person of “international eminence”, “proven ability”, and “significant contribution to higher education”. The judge did not even bother to read Writ Petition 17393/2014, in the Grounds section of which all these terms and their relevance were described. This finding also shows that Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah considers the submission of a written Writ Petition a useless effort. If submitting a written Writ Petition is insignificant, there is no harm in declaring the submission of a written Writ Petition a redundant or prohibited practice.

    Displaying his parochial state of mind, the judge arbitrarily relied on only one CV without doing its comparative analysis with other five CVs and without refuting (with reasons) the rest of the five CVs, if he wanted to make the CV a criterion to decide. This is a display of ineptitude on the part of Syed Mansoor Ali Shah as a judge. Parochialism is the bane of objectivity: Parochialism ineludibly promotes subjectivity. I teach this point to my pupils almost daily.

    This finding leads to raising other questions, what is the recruitment process of these judges, especially Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. What criteria did Syed Mansoor Ali Shah meet to become a judge of the LHC? Further, what is taught at judicial training academies?

    Dear Sir,

    Just to reiterate, in light of the aforementioned discussion, I, Dr Qaisar Rashid, a member of public, call Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, guilty of misconduct and request you to take cognizant of the matter under the dictates of Article 209 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.

    I hope that no effort will be made by your office to protect Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, the rights of whom are already protected under “Punishment for frivolous information”.

    Regards,
    Sincerely, Dated: 03.06.2017

    Dr Qaisar Rashid
    2-B, Ashrafia Park, Ferozepur Road, Lahore.
    Cell: 03364189087



  • Sir , I have read the above interesting piece . Allow me to point a few things .

    a) The logic system of anglosaxon or Greco Roman law system is not the same as that of science . As this system was pre islam , pre science and even prechritianity it is a primitive legal system not just in pakistan but every where and needs challenge and change . Infact this legal system is meant for kings and ruling classes not for momins , otherwise how can there be paid person (lawyer) to speak lies as a matter of routine with stylish name of Counsel.

    b) Why did you file the case in the first place is not clear , are you a clearly aggrieved party ? If not drop it .

    c) Left over a routine practise every where including in IHC and this is indicated by word L/O in computer , this is not a point of substance but leaving it over again and again is reprehensible . Even IHC has no sensible policy about it .

    d) The practise of threatening to issue contempt to those who write letters to justices is common , it is not a good tradition but you can write anything in the form of official route in court .

    e) The only reason judiciary is unaccountable from top to bottom is that parliament is incompetent , lawyers do not want change of system and secret agencies are not advising army to correct this system .

    f) I am not convinced you have a good lawyer and also control your anger .

    g) There are others who have complete plans to reform judiciary , both that is later.



  • @shaikh02 You might have not read the "interesting" piece fully.
    a. The logic of system of the Anglosaxon law system is not under discussion and this point stands irrelevant.
    b. It is mentioned in the write up that the case was a public interest litigation.
    c. It is true that left over is a routine practice but Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said in the court and rebuked my lawyer on this point saying that there was no left over practice in Lahore High Court. Justice Mansoor told a lie in the court. Nevertheless, the left over practice is a point of substance because on the one hand it gives a false impression of the performance of a high court while on the other hand it wastes the time of litigants. For instance, I had to wait for five to six hours on each hearing that my case was left over for the next hearing. The LHC kept on befooling me by giving the impression that the case existed on the cause list to be heard but then it was postponed. The point is this, what is the sense of displaying a case on the cause list if it cannot be heard by the court? The LHC kept on wasting my time and when this matter was brought into the notice of the then Chief Justice LHC, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, he summarily dismissed this point without launching any investigation and looking into the matter. On the basis of the same complaint, he also dismissed the main writ petition. Why a judge cannot be accountable for his wrong doing?
    d. No fear of receiving any contempt notice. It is the other way around. I have contacted the Supreme Court several times through written letters and telephone calls to come up with a clarification, but it stays silent. Lately, a letter to this effect was dropped through the TCS service (Shipment number 4069823914) delivered on 28 June (2018) received by Sakhawat. I personally spoke to Sakhawat and he sent the letter direct to the Registrar Supreme Court, Arbab Mohammad Arif. I also spoke to his two assistants, who were not ready to disclose their names, operating the phone number 051-9213770. [Earlier, I had also spoken to Arbab Mohammed Arif (on phone number 042-99212414) when he visited Lahore at the Lahore Registry of the Supreme Court in the mid of June, just before Eid. ]The point is this: the Supreme Court knows this case but has been observing silence. You seem to have been based in Islamabad. Ask the Registrar office of the SC for their silence. Why are they running from me?
    e. The only reason the judiciary is unaccountable is because the judiciary is inefficient and incompetent. Lawyers and secret agencies are factors subordinate to the prime factor of the competency of judges.
    f. The problem was not with my lawyers. I had hired the services of two lawyers. One was a practising lawyer at the Supreme Court and the second was a practsing lawyer of the Lahore High Court. The problem was with the judge.
    g. If political parties think that judiciary reforms should be on their electoral manifesto, it simply means that these parties are dismissive of the judicial activism launched by incumbent Chief Justice Saqib Nisar through suo moto notices. Justice Saqib Nisar should think about this point.



  • @qaisarrashid

    1.The problem in judiciary is very deep and medical doctors educated in science can only perceive the difference in logic system and analyzing power if you have spent nearly two decades in courts . anglosaxon law logic system is inferior , primitive and has no social edifice in mind except in theory . They have no ability to improve by themselves as system serves them well . Your specialist doctors educated from Europe might charge not even 2000 while a third rate lawyer educated from third floor phoney law college does not mind taking 20 times that for simple case . Why should they change ?

    1. Writing letter to registrar will not invoke any threat of contempt but to justice will ? Even that is wrong .

    2. Left overs simply indicate work possible per day has not been properly assessed and is common and infact almost daily in all high courts .

    3. Judiciary would have been forcibly reformed much long ago had not their leaders not connived with hidden forces espe cially agencies promising military leaders solving their headaches in return for not touching sicj judiciary in lieu of parchis to rule .

    4. Do not expect too much from person whom several doctors think as lacking proper logic system or even having a socipathic tilt .