Won't tolerate interference in judicial affairs, says Pakistan Chief Justice

CJP Isa's remark came during the hearing of SC's suo motu notice taken on the letter written by Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges that cites complaints of interference in judicial affairs by intelligence agencies.

ANI | Updated: 04-04-2024 11:56 IST | Created: 04-04-2024 11:56 IST
Won't tolerate interference in judicial affairs, says Pakistan Chief Justice
Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa (Image Credit: Twitter/@TheSaadKaiser). Image Credit: ANI
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Pakistan Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa has said the Supreme Court will not tolerate any interference in the judicial affairs of the country and is taking the matter "very seriously," Geo News reported. The remarks by Chief Justice follows a letter of judges of the Islamabad High Court wrote to him alleging interference in the country's judicial processes.

Justice Isa further said that the letter makes a mention of the Supreme Judicial Council, indicating that it does not address the Supreme Court. The Pakistan Chief Justice's remarks came during the hearing on Wednesday of a suo motu notice taken by the Scupreme Court on a letter written by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges citing complaints of interference in judicial affairs by intelligence agencies.

The hearing was conducted by a seven-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising six other judges -- Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, Geo News reported. The SC is conducting live proceedings of the hearing.

"Judges must be sure that they are not in danger," CJP Isa said during the hearing. The chief justice said he cannot exercise the contempt power of any other court. "The court which is in contempt will exercise this power itself."

"There is zero tolerance on the independence of judiciary," said the chief justice. However, the judge questioned lawyers, who demanded a suo motu notice in the aforementioned matter, where they were when not a single meeting of the full court was conducted in four years. "Full court performs the administrative function, not judicial function.," he said.

On March 25, six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa convene the Judicial Convention to consider the matter of interference of intelligence operatives in the judicial functions or intimidation of judges in a manner that undermined independence of the judiciary. The IHC judges, including Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, Justice Tariq Mahmood Jehangiri, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan and Justice Saman Rifat Imtiaz, wrote a letter to the chief justice, who is also the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), Geo News reported.

After the letter went viral and considering the gravity of allegations it mentioned, the chief justice called a meeting the same day with the IHC chief justice and all the judges after Iftar at 8pm at his residence during which the concerns of all the judges were heard individually. The following day, on March 27, the CJP met with the attorney-general and the law minister, and thereafter, the chief justice and the senior puisne judge met with the president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the senior most member of the Pakistan Bar Council in Islamabad.

A full-court meeting of all the SC judges, called under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Pakistan at 4pm the same day, deliberated on the issues raised in the letter. Geo News reported that the full-court developed a consensus by majority that the chief justice may hold a meeting with the prime minister of and raise the issue with him. CJP Isa then met with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the Supreme Court where he clearly stated that interference by the executive in the affairs and judicial workings of judges will not be tolerated.

During the meeting, the constitution of an inquiry commission was proposed under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017. The prime minister fully endorsed the views expressed by the CJP and senior puisne judge and assured them that he will be taking other appropriate measures to ensure an independent judiciary. After further consultations among the CJP and other judges as well as the federal government's actions in this regard, the announcement of a one-man inquiry commission comprising former CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jillani was made, who recused himself from the opportunity, citing various constitutional reasons. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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