Pak SC to Hear Case About Alleged Interference in Judicial Matters by Powerful Intelligence Agencies


After the backlash, the top court set up a seven-member bench to hear the case from Wednesday. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

After the backlash, the top court set up a seven-member bench to hear the case from Wednesday. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

The government had drawn criticism from the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, as well as senior lawyers who wanted the apex court to use its special suo motu powers to hear the case based on allegations

After backlash and criticism, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the case about a stunning letter by six high court judges about alleged interference in judicial matters by the country’s powerful intelligence agencies.

The decision comes after the government on Saturday appointed a one-member commission headed by former chief Supreme Court justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani to hold an inquiry into the allegations levelled by the judges and submit its report in 60 days.

Jillani had, however, declined to head the commission.

The government had drawn criticism from the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, as well as senior lawyers who wanted the apex court to use its special suo motu powers to hear the case based on allegations.

After the backlash, the top court set up a seven-member bench to hear the case from Wednesday.

It was not clear if the probe commission announced by the government would continue its proceedings or cease to exist.

PTI chief Gohar Khan, whose party had objected to the commission, welcomed the move by the Supreme Court but demanded that the number of judges should be increased.

“We support the decision by the court but the number of judges should be increased,” he said.

On March 26, six Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges, including justices Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Saman Fafat Imtiaz sent a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), urging it to convene a judicial convention over the alleged interference of intelligence agencies in judicial affairs.

The SJC is the highest body authorised to take action against judges of high and supreme courts.

In response to the letter, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on March 28 said that meddling by the executive in the affairs and ”judicial workings of judges will not be tolerated” come what may.

He said this during a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Supreme Court in Islamabad. The chief justice and the prime minister had agreed in the meeting to form the inquiry commission.

The letter by the IHC judges came days after the apex court declared the removal of former IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui illegal, directing that he may now be considered a retired judge.

Siddiqui was sacked on October 11, 2018, by the SJC based on a speech he had delivered weeks ago at the Rawalpindi Bar Association in which he accused the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — the powerful intelligence agency of the country– of influencing the court proceedings and forming benches of choice.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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