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SC stops proceedings of judicial commission on audio leaks

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has stopped the proceedings of the judicial commission on audio leaks and suspended the notification issued by the federal government.

The Supreme Court (SC) issued its ruling on the petitions against the judicial commission on audio leaks constituted by the federal government.

The bench — headed by CJP Bandial and comprising Justice Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed — heard the petitions.

In its ruling, the top court stopped the proceedings of the audio leak commission and issued notices to the parties.

The top court will resume the hearing of the petitions on May 31, the written verdict read.

The notification regarding the audio leak commission issued on May 19 was also suspended by the SC.

The order read that the constitution of the inquiry commission was challenged in four petitions filed in the Supreme Court. During the hearing, the attorney general raised objections to the bench’s constitution in the initial arguments.

The attorney general also raised objections to the inclusion of the chief justice in the bench. The order read that it is a constitutional requirement to seek permission from the chief justice prior to acquiring the services of a judge.

It further stated that two judges included in the inquiry commission were chief justices of high courts.

The federal government constitution the commission without seeking permission from the chief justice and violated the constitutional principle, whereas, the constitution process was also suspicious.

The federal government formed a three-member judicial commission, led by Supreme Court senior puisne judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa, to probe the multiple audio leaks pertaining to the judiciary.

The other members of the judicial commission include Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Islamabad High Court (IHC) CJ Aamer Farooq.

According to the notification issued by the government: “WHEREAS, recently wide circulations of controversial audios have been witnessed on the national electronic, print and social media, allegedly regarding the Judiciary and former Chief Justices/Judges, conversation raising serious apprehensions about the independence, impartiality and uprightness of the Chief Justices/Judges of the Superior Courts in the administration of justice”.

It added that such audio leaks had eroded public trust and serious concerns had been raised by the general public regarding “independence, impartiality and uprightness of the Chief Justices/Judges of the Superior Courts”.

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