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New Supreme Court Bench Assigned to Address Suo Motu on Alleged ‘Judicial Meddling’

Suo Motu

A new six-member bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, is set to hear suo motu proceedings concerning alleged interference by intelligence agencies and the executive in the country’s judicial affairs.

Scheduled for April 30, the bench includes Justices Mansoor Ali Shah, Jamal Mandokhail, Athar Minallah, Musarrat Hilali, and Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

This development follows Justice Yahya Afridi’s recusal from the seven-judge bench that conducted the initial hearing of the suo motu proceedings on the meddling case.

In his attached note, Justice Afridi emphasized caution, suggesting that proceeding with the proposed suo motu action could potentially overlook lessons learned from recent judicial precedents.

A letter dated March 25, signed by six judges—Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Rafat Imtiaz—addressed to the five members of the Supreme Judicial Council, called for a judicial convention to discuss alleged judicial meddling.

They suggested that such a convention could shed light on similar experiences among judges from other high courts and assist in safeguarding judicial independence.

During the initial proceedings, CJP Isa hinted at the possibility of the matter being brought before a full court bench in subsequent hearings.

In response to the concerns raised, the Supreme Court ordered proposals from key stakeholders—such as the Pakistan Bar Council, the Supreme Court Bar Association, high courts, and the federal government—regarding the institutional response and mechanism to address the issues raised in the letter.

The aim is to prevent such issues from recurring in the future and to hold accountable those responsible, as outlined in the 16-page order.

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