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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court questioned how without ascertaining the veracity, credibility, and authenticity of the audios leaked on social media, the ministers held press conferences and were widely publicized.

A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed, on Tuesday, heard the petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Shahid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary General Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, and advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi.

The bench turned down Hanif Rahi’s request to file a contempt petition against the head of the Inquiry Commission [Justice Qazi Faez Isa].

The chief justice said the matter of contempt is between the court and the contemnor. “We don’t want to be launched in contempt proceedings, wherein, you have alleged the party a sitting judge of this court.” “Please try to understand that a judge can’t be made party in contempt [petition],” he added.

The bench after hearing the attorney general, Hanif Rahi and the counsel of the SCBA president reserved the order. The chief justice said they will think about it (recusal).

Attorney General for Pakistan Usman Mansoor Awan argued that in light of the Supreme Court judgments, the judges mentioned in the Federation’s application consider recusing from the bench, adding if the application is granted then a new bench will hear the petitions of the PTI and others. He contended that the Federation has not alleged any bias against the judges but their recusal is sought on the basis of conflict of interest.

Justice Bandial said the CJP Office is a constitutional office, which holds the administrative powers, vested by the constitution, law, and the Supreme Court Rules, 1980. When the chief justice is not available then there is an alternate arrangement i.e. acting chief justice, he added.

The attorney general argued that Article 4 of the judges’ Code of Conduct requires that the judges recuse when the conflict of interest is alleged. The chief justice questioned; “you presume three of us have conflict of interest.” “If you are dealing with the constitution, then there is independence of judiciary and the interference in the internal working of the Supreme Court.”

Justice Munib remarked whether the government believes that the audios are authentic and credible. The AGP responded that clause 1 of the SRO of the Commission talks about veracity. Justice Munib then inquired is it true that some of the audios are released by the “indibell”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Mark Jun 07, 2023 10:03am
All roads lead to Faisalabad Clock tower. If the Bandial & Co wants to claim to be honest then they have to submit to inquiry by Judicial Inquiry Committee under Qazi Issa and recuse from the Bench, submit without any reservations to the inquiry for wellbeing of Justice and their character. Else they are a bunch of deceitful Banarsi thugs.
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Parvez Jun 08, 2023 02:28am
What a waste of peoples time and money.
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