Justice Qazi Isa halts proceedings of Audio Leaks Judicial Commission

Says they cannot move forward after Supreme Court’s order to stay commission’s working

By News Desk

May 28, 2023 05:42 AM

File photo.

Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa has halted further proceedings of the judicial commission formed to investigate veracity of recent audio leaks involving judges, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The judicial commission led by Justice Qazi Isa with Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan as members held its second meeting at the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on Saturday.

Justice Qazi Isa remarked: “We cannot move forward following yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to suspend the notification for formation of the judicial commission.

On Friday, the apex court’s larger bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial stayed the proceedings of the judicial commission formed to investigate the veracity of recent audio leaks, allegedly related to politicians and judges, and suspended the government’s May 19 notification of its appointment.

The five-judge Supreme Court bench also stopped implementation of the May 22 order by Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led commission to conduct open hearings and make the findings public.

On May 19 last, the government had issued notification of appointing the judicial commission under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017.

Commission’s proceedings 

Earlier, despite the SC stay order, the judicial commission started its proceedings today.

During the commission’s hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Awan read out the Supreme Court’s yesterday order which restrained the commission from holding the audio leak probe.  

Justice Isa remarked that according to the Supreme Court rules, any order could be issued only after hearing the parties involved. The inquiry commission was not put on notice before the hearing, how could it be stopped from working, he added? 

The judge inquired the AGP why did he go to the SC yesterday. He asked him whether the Supreme Court sent him a notice or he sat there without any notice. 

Mansoor Awan replied that he went there after getting a verbal message. The court issued him notice after the hearing, he added. 

Justice Isa inquired of the AGP if the apex court issued any written order. He asked him to provide a copy of the SC order. 

The judge criticized lawyer Shoaib Shaheen, saying that how could he say that a reference against a judge should be sent straight away to the Supreme Judicial Council? 

He said isn’t it appropriate that investigations should be held against the judge first. He said that he himself is a part of the Supreme Judicial Council and he knows the rules. 

If a reference against a judge goes straight to the SJC, he will have to face the consequences of it his entire life, he added. 

Justice Isa said that Shoaib is a lawyer and every time he is making speeches on TV channels. According to rules, a lawyer cannot talk about his case on media, the judge remarked. 

Addressing the attorney general, the judge asked him why he didn’t tell the Supreme Court yesterday that the commission has already explained the points on which the SC had an objection.  

Justice Isa said that he was surprised that he (AGP) did not reject those points yesterday. 

He rued that even Shoaib Shaheen and Abid Zubairi didn’t bother to appear before the commission today. He said that they could hold press conferences outside but they could not appear before the inquiry commission.  

Justice Isa said that the Supreme Court mentioned his case in yesterday's written order. “The facts of my case were completely different. My wife did not deny the ownership of the properties. My wife's case was that the person who is standing against us in the Supreme Court has been set up by someone. It is appropriate that at least the judgment of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah should be read in its entirety,” he added.

He further said that if others have respect, we should also have respect. Not much, at least a little, we should be respected. 

He said a witness, Khawaja Tariq Rahim, emailed us. "When you go to Lahore to record women's statements, I will come there," he wrote in the email. 

Justice Isa said that the government has given him a task so ‘we are sitting here’. Read the oath of the judges, we are bound to abide by the constitution and law.

The commission then instructed the attorney general to read the judgment in the Qazi Faez Isa case, after which Justice Isa remarked that that stage had not yet come and we were not doing it. 

Then the judge said that a witness is present in the room and he called Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui to the rostrum.

The judicial commission has summoned four people for questioning today.

Justice Isa further remarked: “Many times we get very painful type of tasks. We are not enjoying that task but we are bound to do it under oath. Had it not been allowed under the oath, I would have apologized and left. Why will we have to do this when we don't get paid extra for additional work.”

He became emotional while mentioning the Quetta tragedy. He said that they have to conduct investigation of such painful incidents.

Justice Isa said that now in the evening talk shows it will be said that they are violating the constitution. They sit to teach us the law on TV. They do not come here and tell that the stay has been issued.

Later, the 3-member commission, which was invalidated by the Supreme Court, stopped the work. 

Addressing the AGP, Justice Isa apologized to him. He said ‘it’s is a judicial order of the Supreme Court, so we cannot continue the work’. 

Then the commission started writing its decision. 

Reporter Amanat Gishkori 

Written By

News Desk

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