A five-member larger bench was formulated by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday to hear pleas against the judicial commission looking into audio leaks related to judges.
The case will be heard today (Friday) at 11 a.m. by the larger bench, which is presided over by CJP Bandial and comprises Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi, and Shahid Waheed.
The federal government established a judicial commission led by senior Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa last week to look into audio leaks involving the judiciary.
The commission has been given 30 days to conclude the investigation.
The commission will also look into the validity of an alleged call between former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and a sitting high court judge, as well as another call between Elahi and a Supreme Court lawyer regarding the composition of an apex court bench, among other things, in light of the numerous audio leaks.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan criticized the government for the “deliberate omission” of the terms of reference (TORs) and questioned the establishment of the three-person judicial committee on audio leaks.
Khan’s lawyer, Babar Awan, had submitted a petition requesting the court nullify the notification establishing the commission.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Zubairi had also challenged the audio leak commission’s summons for him to testify before the commission as part of the investigation.
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar stated that the government did not consult CJP Bandial before the commission was established.
The judicial panel, which was established in response to widely disseminated contentious audio leaks that raised “serious concerns about the independence, impartiality, and uprightness of the Chief Justices and Judges of the Superior Courts in the administration of justice,” was presided over by Justice Isa and included Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Islamabad High Court (IHC) CJ Aamer Farooq as members.
Earlier, the Justice Isa-led commission declared that the proceedings of its investigation would be made public, and on Monday, it had its first session in courtroom number 7 of the Supreme Court.
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