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SC Judge: Govt not doing anything regarding interference in judicial matters

Supreme Court Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail pointed out the government’s lack of action regarding alleged interference in judicial matters during the hearing on Tuesday.

His comments came as a six-member bench of the apex court, chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, resumed the suo motu hearing on the letter from Islamabad High Court judges accusing agencies of meddling in judicial affairs.

The bench, consisting of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Musarrat Hilali, and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, reconvened to address the concerns raised in the letter.

On March 25, six IHC judges—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—urged CJP Isa to organize a judicial convention to discuss alleged interference by intelligence operatives in judicial functions or actions that undermine judicial independence.

The judges, seeking guidance from the Supreme Judicial Council, highlighted the duty of judges to report and respond to executive members’ actions, including intelligence agency personnel, which interfere with their official duties and may constitute intimidation.

In response, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the IHC judges’ letter on April 1 and established a seven-member bench led by CJP Isa to address the matter.

Today’s hearing

Today’s court proceedings involved appearances from Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC’s) lawyer Riazat Ali, and Khawaja Ahmed Husain representing Aitzaz Ahsan. AGP Awan informed the court that they had not yet received the written order from the previous hearing, which is necessary for the government to prepare its response.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) submitted suggestions emphasizing the judiciary’s independence and calling for an inquiry into interference in judicial matters. The court then heard arguments from various lawyers, including the PBC’s lawyer who highlighted serious allegations made by judges and suggested forming a judicial commission to investigate.

The court discussed the issue of interference in judicial matters, with Justice Mandokhail noting the lack of action from the government. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Isa clarified the role of the Supreme Judicial Council and discussed the trend of interference in judicial matters.

The SCBA president emphasized the importance of judicial independence and suggested measures to prevent interference, including limiting social circles and reporting any pressure to the CJP or the SJC.

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