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LHCBA moves SC in matter of judges’ letter

The petition makes federation, ministry of law and justice and secretary cabinet as respondents in the case.



LHCBA moves SC in matter of judges’ letter
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Lahore: The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Tuesday moved a petition to Supreme Court (SC) in a matter pertaining to the letter of IHC judges.

The petition was filed through the lawyer Hamid Ali Khan. It prayed the court to constitute an inquiry commission comprising the judges of the top court while declaring the commission set up by the government as illegal.

The petition named federation, ministry of law and justice and secretary cabinet as respondents in the case.

The development took place a day after the Supreme Court took suo motu notice on the letter written by the judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) regarding interference in the judicial matters.

A SC seven-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa will take up the case on Wednesday (today).

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Athar Minullah, Justice Musarat Hilali, Justice Jamal Mandukhel and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan are the other members of the bench.

It is pertinent to note that earlier on March 27, six judges of IHC wrote a letter to the SJC regarding the alleged interference and pressure of intelligence agencies in the work of judges.

The letter was written by IHC judges including Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Justice Saman Rift Imtiaz.

A day later, there were calls from various quarters to investigate him, with CJP Qazi Faez Isa convening a full-court meeting of Supreme Court judges.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Chief Justice Isa, where the two decided to form a commission to investigate concerns of interference in judicial affairs after approval by the cabinet.

On March 30, approval was given to form a one-member inquiry commission on the allegations of judges of the Islamabad High Court, Justice (retd) Tassadduq Jillani was appointed as the head of the commission.

The Federal Cabinet also approved the Terms of Reference (TORs) of the Commission of Inquiry. According to the TORs, the Commission of Inquiry will thoroughly investigate the allegations leveled in the letter of the Honorable Judges and determine whether these allegations are true or not. A commission of inquiry will determine whether an official was directly involved in the interference?

The commission will recommend action against an agency, department or government body based on the facts revealed in its investigation. The Commission will also have the power to examine any other matter it deems necessary during the course of the inquiry.

More than 300 lawyers have requested the Supreme Court to take notice of the allegations of interference in judicial affairs by the intelligence apparatus under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution on the issue of the letter of six judges of IHC on March 31.