ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday raised the question about the agency which was authorised to record the phone calls, in the light of the audio leaks involving former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar's son.
The concern was raised in an order issued by IHC Justice Babar Sattar on a plea filed by Najam Saqib, son of ex-CJP, against a special committee formed by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to probe audio clips allegedly featuring his voice.
The court also asked if the law empowered the government to record or surveil phone calls between the citizens, in a seven-page long order sheet issued by Justice Babar Sattar in response to Najam's plea.
Najam, in his plea, had submitted that the proceedings of the Aslam Bhootani-led NA special committee be stopped.
Subsequently, IHC stopped the special parliamentary body from proceeding against former CJP's son.
Now, in its detailed order, the federal capital’s top court has asked the NA to answer five questions pertaining to the matter. These questions range from parliament’s authority to inquire into acts of private citizens to which agency is permitted to record calls of private citizens.
While naming Aitezaz Ahsan, Makhdoom Ali Khan, Mian Raza Rabbani and Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha as amici to the court, it asked the attorney general in order, to assist it with the following questions:
The court stated in the verdict that it was cognisant of the need to exercise restraint and show deference to the Parliament, and "minded not to suspend the circular dated 02.05.2023 constituting the special committee to audit, inquire and investigate the audio leaks of the petitioner".
During the hearing, the court remarked that hearing the stance of the federal government, interior ministry and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)
It then directed the petitioner to submit an amended memo nominating the parties within three days and sought replies from all the parties including the NA secretary while adjourning the hearing till June 19.
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