Justice Isa accuses CJP of misusing authority ahead of JCP meeting
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In his letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa has said that the CJP has misused his authority by issuing two press releases and a secret recording of the July 28 meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan thus undermining the credibility and authority of the serving judges of the high court, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The Puisne judge wrote a letter to CJP Bandial yesterday urging him to take back the names of those three high court judges who were already rejected by the JCP in its last July 28 meeting. The contents of his epistle were revealed today.
Justice Isa wrote that CJP Bandial misused his authority and through his PRO, he released a recording of the July 28 JCP meeting and two press releases. He said that it was evident from the recording that what he said was based on truth.
He said that the judicial commission secretary did not even write the minutes of the meeting so far. It seems that the secretary is not willing to endorse the fictional stance of the chairman of the JCP, he added.
Justice Isa wrote that the JCP members were not informed about the secret recording of the meeting. If they were aware, they would have talked more cautiously.
The letter says: “The Honourable Chairman had not disclosed to the members of the JCP that the meeting was being secretly recorded, and did not take permission from the JCP before releasing the audio recording of the meeting. If it had been disclosed that meeting was being recorded and that its recording may be released, the Honourable Members may have been more circumspect in expressing their views. Regrettably, releasing the recording by the head of the Judiciary has undermined the credibility and authority of serving judges of the High Court.
“The Hon’ble Chairman also contradicts himself in the note when he states that the meeting of the JCP 'is being resumed on 24th October 2022'. The resumption of a meeting, after a period of about three months, is something which is alien to the law and common sense. In any event the composition of the JCP has undergone a change since the last meeting. And, how can the meeting of 28 July 2022 be stated to be 'resumed on 24th October 2022' with a different agenda? The agenda for the meeting of 28 July was to consider four junior judges and the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court, but the agenda of the meeting for 24 October is to consider three junior judges and the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court.
“Putting forward the names of three junior judges whose nominations have already been rejected disparages and disrespects the Hon’ble Members and undermines the credibility and integrity of the JCP. Let the Hon’ble Chairman not be remiss in remembering that he, and all of us, occupy our respective positions because the people of Pakistan stood up against dictatorship; they did not substitute the dictatorial rule of a man in uniform with that of a man in robes,” the letter concludes.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Bandial has called the Judicial Commission’s meeting tomorrow to reconsider the nomination of four judges for their elevation to the Supreme Court.
The names of judges, who have been recommended for the elevation, include Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Lahore High Court Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shafi Siddiqui of the Sindh High Court.
Not only Justice Isa but the legal fraternity including Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar Association and Sindh Bar Council have also expressed their reservations over the CJP’s nominations.
Reporter Imanat Gishkori