Audio leaks commission: SC, govt at odds—again
Audio leaks commission:CJP claims judicial panel interference in apex court jurisdiction.investigating Friday, the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) suspended a judicial panel investigating audio leaks as the government counsel and interior minister objected, putting the SC and federal government on a collision course again.Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsen, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed presided over a five-member SC bench that ruled on petitions contesting the government notification published on May 19.The bench suspended the government notification, formed a panel to investigate audio leaks, and froze its procedures until May 31.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, SCBA president and secretary Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, and Advocate Riaz Hanif Rai challenged the federal government’s notification establishing the three-member judicial commission. On May 19, the federal government established the commission under Supreme Court senior judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Chief Justice Balochistan High Court.Court Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Aamir Farooq to verify recent audio leaks. Saturday (today) was the commission’s Courtroom No. 2 date.After hearing petitioner lawyer and AGP Mansoor Awan on Friday, the highest court reserved its judgement and announced it. “In the circumstances, till the next date of hearing, the operation of the impugned notification No SRO 596(I)/2023 dated 19-5-2023, issued by the federal government, is suspended as is the order dated 22-5-2023,
The court served all petition respondents and the AGP on May 31. “Counsel for the petitioner also prayed for interim relief since the commission has already started functioning and has made an order on 22-5-2023 and the next meeting of the commission is scheduled for 27-5-2023,” the court judgement stated. AGP Mansoor Usman asked the CJP to disqualify himself and defer to the next-highest judge during the hearing. AGP Awan requested that the chief justice not sit on this bench.“You should not interfere with our administrative authority,” CJP Bandial told the AGP, adding that he appreciates Awan’s desire but that the chief justice’s job is constitutional.I anticipated your objection. The judiciary is independent. “The Constitution divides authority,” he said. The chief justice also criticised the government’s “hasty” laws limiting his authority.
The government appears to have tried to divide the judiciary. How can the government manipulate judges?AGP?” CJP Bandial inquired.CJP Bandial also questioned forming a judicial panel without his input. The Inquiry Commission Act 1956 does not require the chief justice to nominate a judge, although it is “practise” to do so. Before appointing any serving judge to a judicial panel, the chief justice should be consulted. “Three notifications were withdrawn before the chief justice was approached. The CJP also cited five Supreme Court judgements.“The contention was repelled, inter alia, for the reason that it was an accepted and settled constitutional principle, acted upon several times in the constitution of commissions whenever a sitting judge was intended to be made a member thereof, that the chief justice of Pakistan had first to be sought,”
5. federal government
court said. “Inasmuch as the federal government appeared to have acted unilaterally in this matter, a constitutional principle of the highest importance had been, prima facie, breached,” the court order said.The court noted that while the other two commission members are chief justices of high courts, the reference’s subject matter involves at least a sitting Supreme Court judge and a third high court chief justice. “Therefore, keeping in mind the settled principles of federalism, prima facie, the aforementioned constitutional principle would apply even in regard to the other two members of the commission and therefore, the chief justice of Pakistan was required for their appointment,” the court added.”Prima facie, the commission’s constitution is in doubt,” the order stated. The court cited many judgements.
6.Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry
The court noted that the petitioner had challenged Notification No SRO.596(I)/2023 dated 19-5-2023 (impugned notification) issued by the Federal government for appointment of an Inquiry Commission (Commission) in exercise of its power under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017 comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Hon’ble Senior Puisne Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan, Mr Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, Chief Justice High Court of Balochistan, and Mr.The court also noted that Shoaib Shaheen, counsel for the petitioners, argued that the impugned notification violates fundamental rights by violating the separation of powers that underpins our constitutional framework. The executive cannot interfere with the judiciary.
While Article 209 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (Constitution) allows the President of Pakistan (acting on advice, i.e., the Executive branch) to present a Reference in respect of any alleged misconduct by a Judge of the superior Courts, the determination and all matters and aspects relating thereto, whether directly or indirectly, are exclusively vested in the judicial branch, as embodied in the constitutional body known as the SupremeThus, the constitutional trichotomy of powers divides these functions between the two branches of the Executive and the court.