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Wednesday August 17, 2022

Saqib Nisar's case: Who can tape audio recordings of the chief justice of Pakistan, wonders IHC's top judge

We are living in a society where there are no regulations for social media, remarks Justice Athar Minallah

By Web Desk
November 29, 2021
Islamabad High Court. Photo: file
Islamabad High Court. Photo: file  

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday wondered who can tape audio calls of the chief justice of Pakistan.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah made the remarks while hearing a petition seeking the formation of a commission to probe an audio leak allegedly involving former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and other allegations against the judiciary.

“Suppose that the leaked audio clip of the former chief justice is genuine, then, where is the original copy of the clip and who possessed it,” asked the IHC CJ.

“Did those, who have the capacity to record audio calls release the audio or the person sitting in the US,” asked the chief justice

Earlier on November 27, Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) President Salahuddin Ahmed and member judicial commission Syed Haider Imam Rizvi submitted a plea in the IHC seeking the formation of a commission to investigate the audio clip of the former CJP.

The plea had stated that an independent commission, comprising well-respected retired judges, lawyers, journalists, and civil society members, should be set up to probe allegations against the judiciary as well as the leaked audiotape.

In the petition, Ahmed and Rizvi had said after the audio leak, a perception was created that the judiciary appears to operate "under pressure from external powers". Therefore, it is crucial to determine whether the audiotape is authentic or not.

"The audiotape has damaged the judiciary's integrity and raised important questions over the judiciary's independence. It is important to revive the people's trust in an independent and non-partisan judiciary," the plea had said.

During today’s hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court will first issue a pre-admission notice to the attorney general and will talk about the admissibility of this petition.

In his remarks about the viral video of the former CJP, Minallah said that they were living in a society where there are no regulations for social media.

The court has to look into the facts as per the law, he said, adding that they did not want to go towards judicial activism.

He further observed that the alleged audio clip is related to the pending appeals and the petitioners semeed not interested in taking the matter to the court.

Meanwhile, the IHC chief justice issued a pre-admission notice to the attorney general and adjourned the hearing for one week.