To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt.
Mikhail Bakunin

04 December 2007

Human Shield to Prevent Eviction of Dissenting Judge

Civil society activists, lawyers and retired judges picketed Monday night outside the house of a dissenting judge following attempts to forcibly evict him from his official residence.

Leading activists Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, and Asad Jamal were among those who kept the nightlong vigil outside the official residence of Justice Shahid Siddiqui in the bitter December cold were.

Activists are taking turns to keep an uninterrupted vigil, 40-50 at a time, forming a human shield to prevent the Punjab government from forcibly evicting the judge who declined to take oath under Musharraf’s martial law regulations, said Hamid Khan, a former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The vigil was prompted by reports Monday evening that Justice Siddiqui may be evicted from his official residence. As the word got out at about 10:30 pm, scores of lawyers and civil society activists are gathered outside Justice Siddiqui's residence to show solidarity with him.

Speaking on the occasion, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chair Asma Jahangir said if the police came they would have to hit her first.

Justice Siddiqui is one of te two dissidents among judges living in government housing in Lahore's GOR, the other being Justice Ijaz Ahmed Choudhry. All other dissenting judges live in their own residences.

Earlier,

wake of eviction orders served on both the judges by a new ‘registrar’ brought in by the regime. Justice Siddiqui responded by challenging his authority and serving a contempt of court notice on him.

It may be pertinent to note that the rulebook says a judge will be given at least six months to vacate his official residence even is he is forced to retire. The regime’s attempt clearly violates those rules.

Activists are calling upon anyone in the area to please go and support the cause. The street address of Justice Siddiqui is 14 Tollington road, GOR I, Lahore.

Below is the text of the contemp notice served by Justice Siddiqui on the regime’s registrar.

CONTEMPT NOTICE ISSUED BY MR. JUSTICE M. A. SHAHID SIDDIQI TO REGISTRAR LAHORE HIGH COURT LAHORE. ORDER

30. 11. 2007

The Registrar of this Court through letter dated 16th November 2007 has requested me to vacate my official residence i.e. 14 – Tollinton Road, GOR – 1, Lahore. It has been written after the issuance of Proclamation of Emergency and the Provincial Constitution Order 2007. This communication is wholly illegal, totally in defiance to constitutional provisions and even against the normative values of decency.

1. I am clear in my mind that Lahore High Court holds its very existence to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 which embodies the will of the people. Needless to say that the Constitution of a country is always considered as the supreme and sacred law of the land. It cannot be allowed to be abrogated, held in abeyance or violated under any pretext specially by those who have taken the oath to preserve, protect and defend it.

2. In view of the above, the Proclamation of Emergency and the Provincial Constitutional Order 2007 being in sheer abuse of powers are of no legal consequence as had been declared immediately after its promulgation by the Supreme Court of Pakistan existing under the Constitution. The mandate is binding upon the Judges of all the High Courts and all officials performing their functions under the law. Any infraction, violation or deviation from that order will amount to serious contempt of Court for which a deviant official will be liable and likely to be punished. The issuance of above letter appears to be an attempt to intimidate and overawe the Judges who have not surrendered to the Chief of Army Staff. I, therefore, as a sitting Judge of the Lahore High Court direct the Registrar of this Court to explain as to why and at whose instance he issued this letter asking me to vacate my official residence. The reply shall be submitted within a month.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please bear in mind that it will be a shame if the city of 10 Million fails to protect one honest man. Lets go together. We don't want to reduce the numbers who reach there every day. We are all commoners and there hardly any chance of somebody's getting arrested. None of us has been arrested. Don't be afraid. Please come.

likhatsilani said...

A case of your courts
Honorable Justice Shahdi Siddiqui et al
There is a problématique, lately I had write off my citizenship and dose not get any other yet, so if I ‘caught red handed’ using forged documents product of my former citizenship, how to deal to the juridical comma socio-political aporias, while as it seems, because of a ‘verdict’ and its observance in letter and sprit by courts they are facing some ‘administrative’ obstacles to function properly, it is another problématique how the courts deal with this obstructions of justice, meanwhile my case perhaps comes under the jurisdiction of ‘international courts’!
Here
Une voix mineure