- Says it is inappropriate for present bench to hear petitions
The judicial commission formed to probe audio leaks issue raised objections to the Supreme Court (SC) bench on Wednesday that was hearing the pleas.
In a reply submitted to SC, the commission stated “it would not be appropriate for this bench to hear these petitions”.
Later, the SC adjourned the hearing of the case till next week.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said “I am sorry to say that efforts have been made regrettably, maybe unknowingly, to draw a wedge between the judges of the court”.
The court also said that new petitions have been filed against the commission and it would hear them next week.
In its response to SC, the commission wondered why its proceedings had been stopped without any notice given to it regarding the matter and why it had not been heard before the stay order was issued.
“The proceedings of the Commission were stopped without hearing the Inquiry Commission,” the response stated.
Moreover, the commission’s response pointed out that no other member of the alleged audio leaks had filed a plea in the Supreme Court nor objected to the commission, adding that several people had confirmed they had no objection to the inquiry.
On Tuesday, the government filed a Civil Miscellaneous Application (CMA) under Rule 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Rules, further requesting the chief justice to reconstitute the bench to decide the questions raised in the petitions.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Abid Shahid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary General Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, and advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi have filed the petitions against the inquiry commission.
The federal government set up the Commission on May 20 in exercise of its power under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commissions of the Inquiry Act, 2017, to inquire into the veracity of the wide circulations of audio in the media and social media.
The CMA said that a fair justice system demands and sustains upon the existence of any impartial judge, being a principle - that “no man shall be a judge in his own cause.” It pointed out that on 26-05-23 the federation requested the chief justice to recuse from the bench, but that was not entertained whilst placing reliance upon the Supreme Court judgments.