The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday strongly condemned a complaint filed against senior Supreme Court judge Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, observing that the move appears to be a tactic to protect a fellow judge of the Supreme Court whose reference is being adjudicated by the judge against whom the injunction was moved.
A few days ago, an organization called the Civil Society of Pakistan had lodged a complaint against Justice Masood in the Supreme Judicial Council, requesting to inquire into his alleged financial misconduct.
On Tuesday, PBC's Vice-Chairman Haroonur Rashid and the executive committee chairman of the apex body of Pakistan's lawyer community, Hassan Raza Pasha, issued a statement in Justice Masood's favour, declaring him to be a very competent, upright and independent judge.
They said that Justice Masood's integrity is beyond doubt and that he enjoys great respect amongst the legal fraternity and the public.
"It seems that the instant compliaint / reference has been filed with mala fide intentions in consequence of the matter as the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan already referred the earlier Reference filed against Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi to his Lordship for preliminary inquiry, which is pending before him and it is the tactic being used to put pressure on him and to suppress His Lordship," states the statement.
They said that the Pakistan Bar Council has always supported and struggled for the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution.
They added that the council and the legal fraternity would never allow anyone to succeed in their nefarious designs and motives to target an independent Judge by filing such a reference.
They urged that the complaint should be withdrawn immediately; otherwise, the legal fraternity will strongly oppose it at every level.
The complaint, filed by Civil Society Network Pakistan President Amina Malik, sought disciplinary action against Justice Masood, alleging that the judge has accrued wealth of Rs246 million while his wealth statement fails to adequately substantiate it.
The complainant highlighted the urgency of immediate action by the SJC, as the lack of substantial documentary evidence for such a significant amount calls for a thorough investigation and potential disciplinary action.
The complainant has also raised concerns about the transparency and credibility of the justice system.
The complaint alleges that Justice Masood has failed to disclose his financial affairs to the national and the Federal Board of Revenue, which is not only inappropriate but also raises questions about the integrity of a senior judge.
It is pertinent to note here that the apex body of lawyers is the complainant before Supreme Judicial Council against Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi.
In March 2023, the PBC filed a complaint against Justice Naqvi after his name surfaced concerning the audio leaks purportedly involving him, former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi and others.