Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui

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Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui
سعید الزماں صدیقی
Justice Saeed-uz-zaman Siddiqui.JPG
Chief Justice of Pakistan
In office
1 July 1999 – 26 January 2000
Appointed by Muhammad Rafiq Tarar
Preceded by Ajmal Mian
Succeeded by Irshad Hasan Khan
Chief Justice Sindh High Court
In office
5 November 1990 – 21 May 1992
Preceded by Sajjad Ali Shah
Succeeded by Nasir Aslam Zahid
Personal details
Born (1937-12-01) 1 December 1937 (age 77)
Lucknow, British India
(now India)
Alma mater University of Dhaka
University of Karachi

Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui (alternatively Saeed-uz-zaman Siddiqui; Urdu : سعید الزماں صدیقی; b. 1 December 1937), is a Pakistani Jurist and legislator of great prominence who formerly served as the Chief Justice of Pakistan at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He was the Chief Justice of Pakistan when the 1999 military coup d'état was staged by then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf. Notably, he defied the request given by Musharraf via the Law Minister and Legal Adviser Sharifuddin Pirzada to take a new oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) saying that: "Taking an oath under the PCO, in my opinion, will be a deviation from the oath I had taken to defend the constitution of 1973". The PCO not only negated the independence of the judiciary and democratic norms, but also prolonged the martial law by nullifying the effect of any judgement given against President Pervez Musharraf government.

As a consequence of this, he was forced to step down from his position, by the military regime. The tenure time period was shortened due to his refusal to take the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) Oath, prescribed by General Pervez Musharraf to legitimize the LFO. After a long discussion with 4 Army generals sent to his residence by General Musharraf; namely, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Moinuddin Haider, who was Interior Minister,then-Lieutenant-General Ehsan ul Haq, Core-commander of the XI Corps, Lieutenant-General (retired) Mahmud Ahmed, then-Director General of the ISI and Brigadier-General (retired) Javed Ashraf Bajwa; Chief Justice Siddiqui refused to take the Oath after which the Generals left and on orders of the GHQ was executed, which had authorized the house arrest of him and his family.

On 25 August 2008, Nawaz Sharif announced that Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui would be Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Jamaat-e-Islami nominee to replace Pervez Musharraf as President of Pakistan.[1] He lost the 6 September 2008 elections by 79 votes to Asif Ali Zardari, who was elected President of Pakistan.[2][3] Justice Siddiqui was again selected for running as the candidate for the Presidential Election in the Pakistani presidential election, 2013, but at the last moment his name was replaced with Mamnoon Hussain as Siddiqui never joined the PML-N and was a neutral candidate.[4] He was supported by MQM and Wajihuddin Ahmed even announced he would not run for the post should Siddiqui be selected. The PML-N although in power wanted Siddiqui as a unanimous candidate as he was the only neutral candidate contesting this election.[5]

Education[edit]

Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui was born in a middle-class educated Urdu-speaking family and received his school education at Lucknow, Hyderabad State of the British Indian Empire and also was educated at Dhaka, East-Pakistan. Siddiqui passed Matriculation from the Board of Secondary Education from Dhaka, East-Pakistan in 1952. In 1954, Siddiqui obtained internmediate in Engineering sciences from the University of Dacca. Siddiqui worked at the Physics Department, and taught undergraduate physics laboratory courses. Thereafter, Siddiqui moved to Karachi, West-Pakistan and attended Karachi University in 1954. There, at Karachi University, Siddiqui obtained B.A. in Philosophy and L.L.B from the University of Karachi in 1958. In 1960, Siddiqui later obtained JD with (Honoris Causa) from University of Karachi.

Justice Siddiqui was awarded honorary membership of the Judicial fraternity of Australia and Canada after the news of his resignation from the office of the Chief Justice was made public in Jan 2000, when he refused to take oath under the PCO (Provisional Constitutional Order). Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui received a letter of commendation from the Judiciary of the United Kingdom and the United States Supreme Court for his stand in the cause of the Pakistan's Judiciary.

Career[edit]

Justice Saeeduzzaman joined the Bar (February 1961); enrolled as Advocate of High Court of West Pakistan (November 1963); enrolled as Advocate of Supreme Court of Pakistan (November 1969); elected Joint Secretary, Karachi High Court Bar Association (1967); elected Member of Managing Committee of Karachi High Court Bar Association (1968–69); elected Honorary Secretary of High Court Bar Library (1977) and continued as such until elevated as Judge of Sindh High Court on 05-05-1980.He was appointed as Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court on 05-11-1990. Appointed as Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan on 23-05-1992. Appointed as Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman Pakistan Law Commission w.e.f. 01-07-1999 till 1 December 2005.

Appointments[edit]

  • Appointed Chairman Sindh Zakat Council on 13-09-1988.
  • Appointed as Member of Company Law Commission on 07-06-1989.
  • Member OIC contact group, also submitted a report on 'Bulgarian Muslims Social condition'

Activities[edit]

  • Appointed as Member of 3-men Contact Group, by Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference to investigate the plight of Muslim minority in Bulgaria in May 1986. He presented the first report of the group to the 17th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held at Amman, Jordan, in March 1988, a second report to the 18th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers at Riyadh in March 1989, and the third report to the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers at Cairo in July 1990.
  • Also presented a preliminary report on the plight of Muslim minority in Bulgaria in the Extraordinary Session of Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in New York in October, 1989. Attended the 17th, 18th, 19th and the Extraordinary Session of Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers in Amman, Riyadh, Cairo and New York on special invitation of Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Conference.
  • He was awarded an honorary Bar Degree from the Inns of Court.
  • He is presently the Chairman of numerous organizations, some of which are The Council for Foreign Relations Economic Affairs and Law and President of the Poor Patient's Society of Pakistan. He is the Chairman of the World Bank supported Organization for Alternative Dispute Resolution (Pakistan).
  • He is also the nominee judge for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague, from Pakistan.
  • On 25 August 2008, Nawaz Sharif announced that Justice Siddiqui would be Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Jamaat-i-Islami's joint candidate to replace Pervez Musharraf as President of Pakistan, he also received popular support from the Balouch Nationalist parties, although he had never joined any political party even after being approached by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in 2007 and again in 2010. He choose to remain a nonpartisan individual. His name has been suggested by JUI and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the Prime Minister candidate when the interim government comes into power after March 2013.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ajmal Mian
Chief Justice of Pakistan
1999–2000
Succeeded by
Irshad Hasan Khan
Preceded by
Sajjad Ali Shah
Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court
5 November 1990 – 21 May 1992
Succeeded by
Nasir Aslam Zahid