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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to recommend credible firms/company for the forensic audit of the alleged audio tape leak attributed to former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah, on Friday, issued the directions, while hearing the petition moved by former president of Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) Salahuddin Ahmed advocate and member of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) Syed Haider Imam Rizvi, seeking the court’s directions for constitution of a high-powered inquiry commission for verifying the audio tape.

The IHC bench, in its written order, observed that the petitioner referred to documents obtained from the internet, which, prima facie, shows that an audio was sent to a forensic firm/company in the United States. It added that a copy of the report obtained from the internet has also been placed on record.

The court stated that the report is inconclusive because it does not mention the exact audio, which had been subjected to forensic analysis. Moreover, admittedly neither the original audio is available nor the documents obtained from the internet can be relied upon.

The judge asked from the learned counsel/petitioner whether the alleged audio is in his possession. He stated that though it is not in his possession but it has been displayed by the media.

Then, the bench suggested to him whether the audio could be sent for forensic analysis. He stated that he would be satisfied if it is sent for forensic analysis to a credible company/firm recommended by the learned attorney general.

IHC defers indictment of former judge, journalists

The court said that the attorney general is not in attendance. It added that the AGP on the next date of hearing is expected to assist the Court regarding the aforementioned suggestion and recommend credible firms/company.

It further said that the petitioner is also expected to obtain the audio and place it on record. The petitioner shall be at liberty to seek the assistance of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

The bench noted that the proceedings in the petition in hand have a direct nexus with a matter subjudice before this Court and the petitioner and the learned attorney general are also expected to assist regarding the consequences in the context of the pending appeals. It continued that the petitioner is further expected to inform the Court as to who would bear the cost of forensic analysis.

Later, the court deferred the hearing in this matter till January 28 for further proceedings.

In their petition, the petitioners sought the formation of a commission to ascertain the truth behind the alleged audiotape of former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and probe other allegations against judiciary.

They adopted that the audiotape has tarnished the image of the judiciary and to protect the independence of the judiciary, it is important to determine whether former Justice (retd) Nisar’s audio is genuine or fake.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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