SJC Reference: Justice Naqvi’s Family Member ‘Dismisses’ Allegations

SJC Reference: Justice Naqvi’s Family Member ‘Dismisses’ Allegations
LAHORE: A family member of Supreme Court Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi dismissed all the allegations leveled against him, after an audio clip from a telephonic circulation was 'leaked', terming it a "smear campaign to malign the judiciary". 

Speaking exclusively to The Friday Times (TFT), one of Justice Naqvi’s family members said that an audio clip of a telephonic conversation was being widely circulated on social media with a purpose to defame the reputation of Justice Naqvi. “The audio in question, several months old, is a brief portion of a call between the then-Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and Mr. Justice Naqvi concerning an incident that transpired on September 10th 2022,” he said. 

The family member said that Justice Naqvi was traveling in his official car, driving himself, when he was stopped by a Traffic Police Warden Ashfaq, near the Shadman U-Turn in Lahore, Punjab. According to him, the warden objected to the tinted-glass windows of the car. Despite being repeatedly told that it was an official Supreme Court vehicle, and that the tinted-glass was there for reasons of security and protection, the warden refused to allow them to pass. 

A wireless communication was then sent out to the Police Department and then senior officials — the Inspector General of Police, CCPO Lahore, DIG Operations, Chief Traffic Officer Lahore, and SSP Operations — personally decided to intervene and inquire in the matter, some arriving at the spot within an hour of the incident. 

“Justice Naqvi was escorted back home, and then he was paid a visit by the Principal Secretary to the CM who requested that Justice Naqvi speak to the CM through his (Principal Secretary's) phone. The CM wanted to apologize for what had happened,” the family sources of Justice Naqvi claimed. 

“Despite the resistance of Justice Naqvi, everyone can now hear in the audio clip that the then-CM showed up shortly thereafter at Justice Naqvi’s official residence”. 

Family sources said that it was a brief and open meeting, and the CM left in the presence of several witnesses from the Police Department. 

“Now that the audio is being made viral, with a clear objective of blackmailing the judiciary, and manipulating the truth to diminish public confidence in perhaps one of the finest, most respectable judges of the Supreme Court – the people responsible for this act are free for everyone to recognise as the cowardly, selfish enemies of the State of Pakistan that they are,” the judge's family member decried. 

‘Premeditated Smear Campaign’

The family member of Justice Naqvi, himself a high court lawyer who completed his LLM from the US, added that another part of this 'premeditated smear campaign' was targeting Justice Naqvi’s acquisition of a residential property in 2022.

He clarified to TFT that Justice Naqvi sold two properties — 375, Phase II, Defence Officers Housing Society, Gujranwala Cantt. and 144-E/1 Gulberg-III, Lahore — to pay for the purchase of a property in Lahore Cantt (100, St. John’s Park). A loan of rupees thirty million was also obtained from the AGPR against his salary with the approval of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and installments of the loan are regularly being deducted from Justice Naqvi's monthly salary. 

The family member further claimed that the registered sale deed was duly executed after the payment of all requisite official fees and taxes, which was evidenced in Justice Naqvi’s tax returns filed last year.

He claimed the “44 rupees” propaganda is baseless and preposterous – the registered deed, circulating on the media, is of an amount exceeding 10 crore rupees. 

"The property, registered in the name of the late owner was first transferred to the legal heirs (her husband, and her son), before being transferred to the name of Justice Naqvi – as is the requirement of the law.”

“A lack of education amongst the perpetrators of this smear campaign is not something we can compensate for at the moment,” the family member said. 

He urged the public to not be influenced by people attempting to "subjugate and discredit the judiciary" of Pakistan. "Their actions reflect on themselves alone, and their propensity for crime," the family member opined. 

‘Reply to Reference filed by Mian Dawood in Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)’

The family member rejected the allegations made in the reference filed against Justice Naqvi by Mian Dawood Advocate in the Supreme Judicial Council. He told TFT that they received no monetary gain from Zahid Rafique. “Not even a single case pertaining to his company was ever decided,” he claimed. 

The family member said that Justice Naqvi paid his daughter’s fee from his own official account. “She is studying in the UK,” he said. 

Rejecting the other claims, he said, “no plots are currently owned by Justice Naqvi or his family in Lahore Smart City or Capital City,” he said. 

He maintained that Allied Plaza had been shown as his undeclared asset. As a lawyer, Justice Naqvi had a rented office in this building in Gujranwala. 

“This office was closed in 2010 when he was elevated as judge. Since then, he has not even visited once,” the family member said. 

“The office of his sons at the Evacuee Building, which is also on rent, had its appeal decided along with thousands of other applicants, all being tenants of Hindu Auqaf,” the family sources added. 

They maintained that there was no facilitation from Justice Naqvi in granting a license to Royal Swiss. 

“It was granted on high court order by Justice Shahid Karim. Since the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) couldn’t find any money involved, the case was closed even to the extent of Usman Buzdar which is nearly impossible in this regime,” the family sources said. 

Speaking about the Khosa Reference, the family member claimed it was decided in Justice Naqvi's favour after the honourable judges accepted their mistake. 

“First, three properties are officially granted to almost every judge and are on installments,” a family member said while adding that Gulberg property has been sold and with that amount, the Cantt. property was purchased, but with mala fide intent both are shown as his asset”.  

“No government official has ever been transferred on his instructions, no car is owned by Justice Naqvi and no safeguard or protection provided to Zahid Rafique by him,” he concluded. 

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy. He also hosts the Hassan Naqvi Show on Naya Daur.