ANI Photo | Pakistan: Lawyers’ bodies approach SC for constitution of full court to hear allegations of interference in judiciary

Various lawyers’ bodies have approached the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the constitution of a full court to hear the alleged interference in judicial matters by intelligence agencies, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.
Balochistan Bar Council and Balochistan High Court Bar have filed multiple pleas, seeking the apex court’s guidelines to stop such incidents in the future.
In the petitions, the lawyers’ bodies requested the court for annulment of the one-man commission formed by the government to investigate the allegations to ensure that those who interfere in judicial matters are strictly punished, according to Geo News report.
The development comes as a seven-member SC bench is set to resume the hearing in the suo motu case on the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges’ letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) complaints regarding interference in judicial affairs by intelligence agencies on April 29.
Notably, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges, comprising 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 have requested Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa to convene the Judicial Convention to consider the matter of interference of intelligence in the judicial matters or intimidation of judges in a manner that undermined the independence of the judiciary.
The bench is headed by Qazi Faez Isa and includes 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, according to Geo News report.
The court had taken suo motu notice of the judges’ letter under Article 183 (3) of the Constitution after former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani recused himself from heading the one-man commission constituted by the government to carry out investigations into the allegations over intelligence interference in judicial matters.
Earlier this month, Justice Afridi, who was also part of the apex court bench, recused himself from the suo motu case taken up by the apex court. He said that the matters raised in the Islamabad High Court should be considered as per the SJC’s code of conduct, according to Geo News report.
During the first hearing of the case on April 3, Isa stated that the Supreme Court will not tolerate any interference in judicial affairs and is taking the letter by Islamabad High Court judges “very seriously”. He also indicated that the suo moto case might be heard by a full court in the future.

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