Islamabad bar seeks probe into IHC judges’ letter


ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court under Article 184(3), requesting an investigation into a letter written by six IHC judges alleging threats and interference in judicial affairs.

The petition asserts that the stance taken by the IHC judges raises serious concerns, and failure to thoroughly investigate this matter could erode public trust in the justice system.
It highlights that the IHC judges have outlined serious incidents in the letter, indicating external interference in the courts and subversion of the judicial process.

The petition emphasizes that this is a matter of interference in the affairs of a high court and subordinate judiciary, thus holding significant importance, as an independent judiciary is the guardian of the Constitution and the sole provider of justice.

An appeal has been made to the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter under Article 184(3) of the Constitution to safeguard judicial freedom. It requests transparent investigations be conducted in light of the letter, and actions be taken against those undermining the judiciary.

Additionally, if the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), the Supreme Court should send recommendations to the SJC for review.

On March 26, six of the eight judges of the capital’s high court wrote a letter to the SJC chairman—Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa—highlighting alleged “interference” by the “operatives of intelligence agencies” in judicial affairs of the court.

The 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 Rafat Imtiaz, sought guidance from SJC regarding the duty of a judge to report and respond to actions on the part of “members of the executive, including operatives of intelligence agencies, that seek to interfere with the discharge of his/her official functions and qualify as intimidation”.

The letter also requested guidance with regard to the duty of a judge to report any such actions that come to his attention concerning “colleagues and/or members of the courts that the IHC supervises”. The letter sparked controversy, prompting the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the matter.

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