Petitions against audio leaks commission: Govt opposes three SC judges


Audio leaks commission petitions: Government opposes three SC judges
The government asks CJP Umer Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar to recuse.The government petitioned Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umer Ata Bandial to reconstruct the bench to hear submissions challenging the government’s notification to form a Judicial Commission to investigate suspected audio leaks on Tuesday.In a related development, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to recuse himself from hearing the audio leaks case due to a conflict of interest, but he noted that such precedents have been abandoned by apex court judges. “Parliament will retaliate if its authority or writ comes under attack, the house will counterattack,” he said.


The federal government filed a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) at the top court asking Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsen, and Justice Munib Akhtar to withdraw themselves from the five-member bench hearing the case.A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial and including Justice Ijazul Ahsen, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed, will hear petitions challenging the government’s May 19 notification today at 12:15 pm.

Umer Ata Bandial

On May 26, the larger bench suspended government’s announcement, formed a Judicial Commission to investigate suspected audios, and froze its procedures until May 31. In a brief order, Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial suspended the operation of the impugned notification No.SRO.596(I)/2023 dated 19.05.2023 issued by the Federal Government and the Commission’s order dated 22.05.2023. It notified all petition respondents and the Attorney General for May 31. Imran Khan, Abid S Zubairi, Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, SCBA President and Secretary, and advocate Riaz Hanif Rai contested the announcement.


They asked the Supreme Court to declare the notification unconstitutional. They also asked the Supreme Court to halt the Inquiry Commission on Audio Leaks and its orders.In its CMA, the federal government argued that having the Chief Justice on the bench hearing the instant matter, which seeks to challenge the very Inquiry Commission formed to investigate audio leaks involving very close family members of the Chief Justice, raises serious concerns about impartiality.


The government argued that the complaints expressed primarily concern the appearance of impartiality and conflict of interest, not prejudice, which has neither been stated nor alleged by the respondent (Federation).The Inquiry Commission investigating audio leaks contains the mother-in-law’s chat with attorney Khwaja Tariq Rahim’s wife. The government argued in the CMA that the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry recused from hearing the matter because his son was accused of a business deal between Malik Riaz Hussain and Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar to influence the judicial process.

audio leaks

The government noted that the audio leaks involved two other members of this bench. One leak involved the petitioner (Abid Zubairi) in constitutional petition No 14/2023 and the then Chief Minister discussing the case of CCPO (Ghulam Muhammad Dogar versus FOP and others CP No 3988/2022 Lahore). The government stated that Justice Ijazul Ahsen presided over the case, and another leak involved a conversation between a senior lawyer’s wife and the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s mother-in-law, who mentioned Justice Munib Akhtar. The government requested that Justices Ijazul Ahsen and Munib Akhtar excuse themselves from hearing the petition.

Code of Conduct

The federal government further argued that the Code of Conduct and oath of office inform the choice to recuse oneself from a conflict of interest issue. It requested that the Chief Justice of Pakistan reconfigure the bench to address the instant petitions.The federal government appointed a three-member Judicial Commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Aamir Farooq to investigate the audio leaks and their impact on the judiciary.

Defence Minister

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif advised the top judges against dictating and breaching parliament. The defence minister noted that former chief judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had avoided hearing a case involving his son and Malik Riaz. “But it seems that judges of the apex court have now abandoned such precedents,” he remarked. He stated the administration formed the audio leaks judicial commission to investigate. He regretted that the Chief Justice removed the senior judge of the Supreme Court and two chief justices of Balochistan and Islamabad High Court from the commission, claiming the government did not pick parliamentarians or other non-judges. The apex court’s one-man show must end. He continued, “We want more justice transparency to avoid conflict with the judiciary.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top