In March 2017, the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England intervened into Siddiqi's practice at Saints Solicitors LLP in Birmingham to protect clients' interests.
Why was Siddiqi allowed to preach to Maunatul Islam Fiji in 2011, and in 2017?
FIJI: A PARADISE FAST LOSING ITS SOUL TO SHADY CHARACTERS
In 2011, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Khaiyum was the chief guest when Siddiqi spoke at the Maunatul Islam Fiji. He acknowledged Khaiyum's attendance in his opening remarks. In March 2017, the Solicitors Regulation Authority [SRA], UK, had stopped Siddiqi's legal firm Saints Solicitors LLP from operating, took possession of all documents and papers held by the firm, and took possession of all money held, to protect clients' interests and money, in the public interest. In 2007, Siddiqi and two others had pleaded guilty in the Manchester Magistrates Court in England to various charges of providing or aiding and abetting the illegal immigration advice or services. The TRIO had set up a bogus immigration advice service in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. They pretended they were being regulated by the British government when they were not, Manchester Magistrates Court heard. On what grounds did the Fiji Immigration Department admit Siddiqi into Fiji in 2011, and most recently, to preach during the Prophet Mohammed's birthday celebrations? One of the Siddiqi bothers, Shaykh Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, in 2007, established MAT - Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, and is chairman of its Governing Council. Unlike most sharia councils and tribunals, MAT has legal status under the 1996 Arbitration Act and its rulings can be enforced by the British courts, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case. Many opponents of MAT argue that the tribunal condones domestic violence and physical abuse against Muslim women, and that it undermines equal rights and protection under the law, and often rules unfairly in favour of men. MAT has denied the charges. According to the tribunal's website, it specialises in Islamic divorce, inheritance law and Islamic wills, family meditation and mosque dispute resolution. Faizul Siddiqi has been branded a hardline cleric, who led a thousand-strong, gender-segregated march in protest at Charlie Hebdo’s use of images of Prophet Mohammed after 11 of the magazine’s staff were murdered by terrorists in Paris
In March 2017, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in England intervened into Siddiqi's practice at Saints Solicitors LLP in Birmingham. Reasons/basis: Siddiqi had failed to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and the SRA Principles 2011 which are rules made under Sections 31 and 32 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended). In April 2017, the suspension of Siddiqi's practising certificate for 2016/2017 was terminated subject to conditions
The screeching headline in The FIJI SUN
An intervention is a step taken to protect clients' interests and money, in the public interest. In March 2017, the SRA had stopped the firm from operating, took possession of all documents and papers held by the firm, and took possession of all money held.
In March 2017, a statement from the SRA said the company and its managers "failed to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and the SRA Principles 2011 which are rules made under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985". Afifa Kiran, Safdar Akhtar, Zain Siddiqi and Nusrat Hussain, who practiced at Saints Solicitors in Birmingham, were all subject to the intervention order. James Dunn of London firm Devonshires had been appointed as intervening agent.
Fijileaks: Siddiqi's CV is at odds with his Facebook profile and Fiji media headlines that he is a Barrister of High Court of England and Wales. On his Facebook profile he claims he has an LLM from Staffordshire University. But on his LinkedIn page he states he has a LPC (Legal Practice Certificate) from Staffordshire University (1996-97). If so, then he is a SOLICITOR and NOT a BARRISTER of the High Court of England and Wales. In fact, he has to be a SOLICITOR, for it was the Solicitors Regulatory Authority which first suspended his practising certificate for 2016/2017. Has the 'Shaykh' taken the Fiji Muslim League, the Fiji media, and the Indo-Fijian Muslims in Labasa for a ride during Prophet Mohammed's Birthday celebration?
A TRIO who set up a bogus immigration advice service in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, have been brought to justice. They pretended they were being regulated by the government when they were not, Manchester Magistrates Court heard.
The three men, Gurvinder Singh Suthi of Handsworth, Birmingham, Tasib Yusaf of Snienton, Nottingham and Zain Siddiqi, a solicitor also based in Handsworth, pleaded guilty to various charges of providing or aiding and abetting the illegal immigration advice or services.
By law, anyone offering immigration advice or services must be regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) unless they are a member of a designated professional body, such as the Law Society. Although, as a solicitor, Siddiqi was qualified to provide immigration advice or services, his two co-defendants were not. As the court heard, however, Mr Siddiqi had at one point owned the business that allowed Suthi and Yusaf to provide immigration advice illegally.
Operating as Doctor Qureshi & Company and trading from offices on Cheetham Hill, Manchester, the trio were claiming the business was regulated by the OISC and even displayed an OISC logo in their window as proof. Despite a visit from the OISC clarifying that they were not regulated and that as such they were breaking the law, they continued to offer immigration advice and services regardless.
Immigration Services Commissioner, Suzanne McCarthy, said: "The law exists to protect people from incompetent immigration advisers. It is my office's responsibility to enforce that and we will prosecute those who deliberately flout the law and take advantage of their clients."
Ms McCarthy went on: "This group all knew that they needed to be regulated by my office. Instead they chose to operate outside the law and without regard for the protection of their clients, so I am delighted with the outcome of this case. I think it sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice without being appropriately regulated - either act within the law or you will find yourself in court."
The Saints Solicitors had a branch office at 78 Dickenson Rd, Manchester
Zain Aqtab Siddiqi speaking to
Siddiqi speaking in 2011 at Maunatul Islam Fiji. Khaiyum was chief guest