Sunday March 03, 2024

SC judge recuses himself from Imran case

January 25, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday recused himself from hearing identical appeals against the objections of Registrar’s Office to the petitions seeking formation of a high-powered commission to probe the alleged foreign conspiracy to topple the government of former prime minister Imran Khan.

Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, while hearing the appeals in his chamber, recused himself from hearing the appeals and forwarded them to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umer Ata Bandial for fixing them before another judge of the apex court.

Advocates Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, Naeemul Hassan and Tariq Badar had filed the petitions in the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the Federation of Pakistan through the secretary law and justice, the prime minister and cabinet secretary as respondents. They had prayed for constituting a high-powered commission to investigate the toppling of Imran’s government. The Registrar’s Office had returned the petitions with objections that the pleas had not pointed out as to what questions of public importance in the instant case were involved with reference to enforcement of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution, so as to directly invoke the SC jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

It was further objected that the ingredients for invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution had not been satisfied. It was objected that the petitioners had not approached any other appropriate forum available under the law for the same relief and provided any justification for not doing so.

On Tuesday, Bhutta submitted that the case was related to safety of foreigners in Pakistan, especially embassies. He said it was required to depute one military and one civilian official to investigate the case.

Similarly, advocate GM Chaudhry submitted that the apex court was competent to hear the matter on the basis of national interest. Likewise, an associate of Azhar Siddique, counsel for petitioner Naeemul Hassan, appeared in the chamber and sought an adjournment.