Tuesday June 06, 2023

Judicial body probing audio leaks gets transcripts

Names, addresses, and portfolios of persons in alleged audios provided

May 25, 2023
Justice Aamer Farooq (left) Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan (right). —official websites
Justice Aamer Farooq (left) Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan (right). —official websites

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Wednesday provided four sets of transcripts of audio to the Judicial Commission formed for probing into the veracity of audio leaks.

It was learnt that the office of the Attorney General (AG), in pursuant of the commission directives, provided sets of transcripts of alleged audios, dually, signed by the relevant authority.

As per sources, the Attorney General provided transcripts of 8 audios besides providing names, contact addresses and portfolios of the persons in the alleged audios.

The AG office also provided to the Judicial Commission names of former prime minister Imran Khan, former chief minister Punjab, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, advocate Khawaja Tariq Rahim, Abid S Zubairi, President Supreme Court Bar Association, former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar, his son Najam Saqib, Mahjabeen Noon, mother-in-law of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Rafia Tariq, wife of advocate Khawaja Tariq Raheem, Jamshed Cheema as well as journalist Qayyum Siddiqui. Sources further said that the name of incumbent judge of the Supreme Court was also provided to the Judicial Commission. It is pertinent to mention here that the Judicial Commission appointed to probe into the veracity of recent audio leaks had directed the federal government to provide an android cell phone with SIM to the secretary immediately; the secretary’s contact details will be shared with all.

On May 22, a three-member Judicial Commission, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Aamir Farooq, after holding a preliminary meeting on the matter in the Supreme Court issued directives. The commission had directed the Attorney General to provide to the commission the particulars of the department/agency, including the Punjab Forensic Science Agency, whose services may be required in case the person making the statement regarding any audio recording denies that the same is his/her voice or states that the same has been manipulated/ fabricated/ tampered. “Whenever the concerned/witness statement is being recorded, an expert of such department/agency should be in attendance,” the commission had directed in its order.

The commission had further directed AG to provide four sets of the recordings with accurate and verified transcripts duly verified and signed by a senior officer that the same is true and correct transcript of the recording. It had directed that additional sets of the recording and transcripts should be made and kept with the learned AG to be shared with the concerned at the relevant time, if so required. Similarly, the AG was also directed to provide the names, addresses and contact details of all those mentioned in the transcript whose statement may be required to be recorded with a further direction that the names of the persons shall be provided by or before Wednesday (24 May, 2023).

Meanwhile, the Special Committee of the National Assembly on Audio Leaks has summoned Najam Saqib, son of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, Mian Aziz and Abu Zar Jadhar on May 31.

The decision was taken in the in-camera meeting of the Special Committee of the National Assembly on Audio Leaks under Chairman Aslam Bhootani here Wednesday and was attended by officials of the Interior Ministry and FIA besides the members of the committee. Talking to the media after the meeting, Aslam Bhootani said the FIA has submitted the alleged audio leaks forensic report to the committee. He told the media that the committee has decided to summon Najam Saqib, Mian Aziz and Abu Zar Jadhar to hear them on May 31 about the audio leaks under Rule 227 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007. “We decided to summon them to hear them so that they cannot say that they were not heard before making any decision,” he said.

Bhootani said the committee unanimously decided that the NA Speaker should respect the sense of the house and should not give the record of the Standing Committees of the National Assembly to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.