Home Latest News After Justice Naqvi, Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan Also Resigns

After Justice Naqvi, Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan Also Resigns

Judge offers no explanation for his surprise declaration in brief resignation letter

by Staff Report

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In a surprising development, Justice Ijazul Ahsan—due to take oath as the next chief justice of Pakistan later this year—on Thursday tendered his resignation, becoming the second apex court judge to do so in as many days.

The abrupt announcement raised eyebrows, with observers left to speculate over the reason for the resignation, as the judge offered no reasons for his decision in a brief resignation letter he sent to President Arif Alvi. A day earlier, Justice (retd.) Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi had similarly tendered his resignation, stating it was no longer possible for him to continue as judge of the Supreme Court due to “circumstances which are a matter of public knowledge and to some extent public record.”

In his own resignation letter to the president, Ahsan said he had the honor to serve as a judge of the Lahore High Court, the chief justice of the Lahore High Court, and a judge of the Supreme Court. “However, I no longer wish to continue as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he wrote. “Therefore, I, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, resign as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in terms of Article 206(1) of the Constitution with immediate effect,” he added.

Following his resignation, several analysts and journalists have questioned the reasoning, with speculation rife over a looming reference against him and his desire to exit the office rather than face it before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). Naqvi, similarly, resigned amidst a SJC reference alleging misconduct and Ahsan had been the sole member of the SJC urging the dismissal of the probe against his fellow judge.

Born in 1960, Ahsan began his legal career in the 1980s, being elevated as a judge of the LHC on May 11, 2009, and becoming its CJ on Nov. 6, 2015. He was subsequently elevated to the Supreme Court on June 28, 2016, and has since been involved in several politically significant cases, including the bench that disqualified Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.

In recent years, under CJP Umar Ata Bandial, he was derogatively referred to as part of a “likeminded” bench that heard virtually all politically and constitutionally significant cases, with analysts often claiming they could predict how a case would go based on whether or not he—as well as Bandial and Naqvi—were part of the bench.

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