ISLAMABAD: The federal government has raised objections to the five-judge Supreme Court bench hearing petitions against the audio leaks commission.
The federal government on Tuesday submitted a miscellaneous petition, requesting the Supreme Court to form a new bench for hearing petitions challenging the audio leaks commission formed by the government to probe the veracity of purported tapes featuring judges and politicians.
A five-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Shahid Waheed, and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi is currently hearing the audio leaks commission case.
In its previous hearing on Friday, the CJP-led bench stayed the proceedings of the judicial commission and suspended the government’s May 19 notification of its appointment.
The SC bench also stopped implementation of the May 22 order by Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led three-judge commission to conduct open hearings and make the findings public.
The federal government, in its petition, prayed to remove Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar from the bench hearing the audio leak case.
The petition stated that the bench did not consider the objection raised by the government to the inclusion of the chief justice in the bench.
It further said that one of the purported audio tapes features the mother-in-law of the chief justice. As per the court judgements and Judges Code of Conduct, how could a judge hear the case against his own relative?
In the past, then chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had recused himself from the bench which was hearing the case of his son Arsalan Iftikhar.
The petition further pointed out that the purported audio tapes also pertain to Justice Ahsan and Justice Akhtar.
Saqib Nisar’s son moves to IHC against audio leaks commission
Former chief justice Saqib Nisar’s son, Najamul Saqib has challenged the formation of a committee probing the purported audio leaks in the Islamabad High Court.
Najam Saqib on Tuesday filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the committee formed by the National Assembly speaker to investigate the alleged audio leaks and its notice.
The petition stated that on May 2, the speaker of the National Assembly constituted a committee to investigate the purported audio leaks. The committee formed by the speaker is illegal as he has no jurisdiction to do so. On May 25, a notice was issued by the assembly secretary, asking Najam’s father, Saqib Nisar, to appear before the committee in person.
In the petition, it has been stated that the summon notice to the former chief justice was sent even without the meeting of the committee.
The petitioner requested the court to declare the commission formed by the speaker as illegal. He also prayed to the court to suspend its operations and to stop the commission from taking any action against former chief justice Saqib Nisar until a decision is taken on this petition.
IHC registrar raises objections
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court’s Registrar’s Office objected to Najamul Saqib’s petition.
According to sources, two objections were raised on the application.
Firstly, the registrar has objected that the issue of audio leaks is pending in the Supreme Court.
Secondly, the registrar said that different types of pleas cannot be made in one writ petition. In the petition, on the one hand, the notice of the special committee has been challenged, and at the same time, it has been requested to declare the audio leak as illegal.