An inquiry has been launched against an Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ), Pervaizul Qadir Memon, who was involved in the acquittal of Axact’s owners and its directors from the fake degrees case.
It should be recalled that not too long ago, Axact, a software company, was accused of issuing fake degrees and diplomas in a multi-billion dollar scam.
The judge in question has also been accused of supporting land grabbers and handing them undue favors. On Thursday, he filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and denied all allegations against him, claiming that these were false.
The IHC, however, told Memon that “he is reportedly involved in corrupt practices in the case of Axact [which was] decided by him and also in some other matters related to land grabbers. These issues require further consideration.”
The sessions court judge learned about the allegations when he was planning to challenge the departmental promotion committee’s (DPC) decision not to promote him. When he filed a case against the DPC for not promoting him to a District and Sessions Judge, the IHC registrar issued him a show cause notice to explain the acquittal of cases regarding land grabbers and Axact’s owners and directors.
His lawyer Advocate Arfat Chaudhry argued that,
“the petitioner calls in question an illegal and unwarranted office order… and a show cause notice whereby the respondents (IHC registrar), while raising serious allegations against the petitioner, has directed him to show cause in writing within 14 days as to why the major penalty of removal from service may not be imposed upon him.”
Judge Responds to the Allegations
While quoting the office order, the petition said that because two members of the DPC had recommended removing him from service, the IHC registrar decided to start an inquiry against Mr. Memon. The petition also says that the aforementioned show cause notice is in violation of several provisions of he Constitution.
The judge shared his reasoning behind the October 31, 2016 judgement in the State versus Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh case. He said that:
“Based on the quality of evidence, the accused persons involved in the said case were acquitted through the said judgement. It is very important to add here that the acquittal was not the result of summary proceedings as there was a full-fledged trial of the accused persons.
The judgement was announced after exhaustive trial proceedings. The evidence brought on record by the prosecution could not have been made basis for the conviction of the accused persons involved in the case.”
The petition says that during the trial of the case, no one from the prosecution raised allegations with regards to the judge’s decision or conduct as the presiding officer of the court. Instead, full confidence was bestowed upon the judge.
Background of the Inquiry
The DPC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and IHC registrar Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan had met in April and ADSJ Memon was shocked to learn that two junior judges had been promoted while he was ignored.
“I was about to move a departmental representation against the non consideration but I received an explanation from the IHC registrar,” added Memon.
He claims to have received a letter from the IHC registrar on May 8 which disclosed the reason for not being considered for a promotion. Memon was asked to appear before the DPC, comprising of two judges, on May 24. The ADSJ plead innocence and told the committee that he had presided thousands of cases and not a single complaint has been filed against him.
Pervaizul Qadir Memon says that he is a patient of ischemic heart disease and fell ill on May 28, when he was brought to the Emergency Ward at PIMS. He then filed a 30 day leave on June 6 which was not granted and he was instead suspended on June 7.
The judge requested the court to ignore the orders issued to him by the IHC registrar. A single member IHC bench will hear the petition today.