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Justice Babar Sattar Alleges Judicial Interference in Letter to Islamabad High Court

ISLAMABAD: Justice Babar Sattar of the Islamabad High Court has once again raised concerns about alleged interference by the security establishment in the judicial process.

In a letter addressed to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Babar Sattar claimed that he was pressured to step back from the audio leaks case.

Earlier this month, Justice Sattar dismissed a plea filed by the Intelligence Bureau seeking to withdraw its petition for the judge’s recusal from the case. In April, he fined the FIA, PTA, and Pemra Rs500,000 each for seeking his recusal and hinted at initiating contempt proceedings against them.

The case involves petitions filed last year by ex-premier Imran Khan’s spouse Bushra Bibi and Najam Saqib, son of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, concerning alleged audio leaks.

Justice Sattar alleged that he received a message from a senior security establishment official to withdraw from the case and stop scrutinizing surveillance methods.

He was among six judges who wrote to the Supreme Judicial Council in March, seeking a judicial convention over alleged intelligence agency interference in the judiciary.

“We believe that individual judges must not be required to be as brave as Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the chief justice of Pakistan, to fight persecution at the hands of the executive on their own, or as resolute as Justice Siddiqui, to continue to fight a wrong for personal vindication long after removal from office,” the letter stated.

According to Tuesday’s letter, Justice Sattar disregarded threatening messages, believing they wouldn’t affect the justice system.

He expressed concern that malicious campaigns targeting cases related to the PTA aimed to undermine judicial proceedings. The court issued notices to intelligence and investigative agencies, including the ISI, IB, and FIA, in the audio leaks case, as well as to regulatory bodies, PTI, and PEMRA.

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