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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has taken suo motu on a letter of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges of interference and intimidation by the operatives of intelligence agencies in judicial working.

A seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Mussarat Hilali, and Naeem Akhtar Afghan will take up the suo motu Wednesday (Apr 3) at 11:30 am.

The apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution has extraordinary power to assume jurisdiction over any “question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any fundamental rights.” Under this article can summon any person, government officials or document or record from any government department. The SC may assert jurisdiction either on the basis of a petition filed in the court by any party, or on its own motion referred to as a suo motu notice.

Over 300 lawyers support stance of six IHC judges

The IHC’s six judges, including Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Saman Raffat Imtiaz, on March 25, wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking guidance on the interference of intelligence agencies.

The CJP in view of the gravity of the allegations levelled in the said letter called a meeting on the same day with the chief justice and all the judges of the IHC after Iftar at 8pm at the chief justice’s residence. The concerns of all the judges were heard individually in a meeting which lasted for over two and a half hours.

The following day (27 March), the CJP met with Attorney-General Mansoor Usman Awan and Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, and thereafter, the CJP along with the Senior Puisne Judge Syed Mansoor Ali Shah met with the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the senior most member of the Pakistan Bar Council, present in Islamabad.

The same day a Full Court Meeting of all the judges of the Supreme Court was called under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Pakistan to deliberate over the issues raised in the letter. A consensus was developed among the majority of the members of the Full Court that in view of the gravity of the situation, the CJP may hold a meeting with the prime minister on the issues raised in the said letter and the meeting was adjourned.

The CJP, therefore, on March 28, along with Senior Puisne Judge Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Registrar Supreme Court Jazeela Aslam met with PM Shehbaz Sharif. Federal Minister for Law, Tarar and Attorney General for Pakistan, Awan were also present in the meeting.

The CJP had made it clear to the federal government that interference by the Executive in the affairs and judicial workings of judges will not be tolerated and under no circumstances can the independence of the judiciary be allowed to be compromised.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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KU Apr 02, 2024 09:45am
According to law of land, threats of life/limb, family, kidnapping, etc., is criminal offence. When judges complain of this threat, it becomes a national crises n is a criminal case. Shameful.
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Afzal Apr 02, 2024 10:15am
let c how how the SC stops these ppl from doing political and judicial engineering. This is the reason why we r humiliated in the world, the society where there is no justice is like a jungle....
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