ISLAMABAD :Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Supreme Court directed the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan on Tuesday to track the Twitter account named “Indibell” responsible for leaking audios related to the judiciary.
The directive was given during the apex court’s hearing on petitions challenging the constitution of a high-powered judicial commission tasked with investigating the audio leaks involving members of the judiciary.
The SC bench, consisting of Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed, considered four separate petitions filed by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Shahid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, and Advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi. All petitions sought a declaration from the apex court that the formation of the commission was illegal.
It should be noted that during the hearing on May 28, the same bench suspended the commission’s working and the notification that established it.
Prior to today’s hearing, Zuberi submitted various orders from different high courts to the bench, urging their consideration for the “proper adjudication” of the present case. These orders included previous rulings from the Supreme Court itself, the Islamabad High Court, and the Lahore High Court.
The AGP, Usman, initiated his arguments by highlighting the “conflict of interest” of the judges hearing the petitions. However, the Chief Justice objected to the allegation, emphasizing that the apex court is a constitutional office with its own powers. He stated that a judge cannot be made a party to a contempt petition and asserted that the powers of the chief justice or judge cannot be diminished based on requirements.
In response to the government’s objections regarding the formation of the bench, the Chief Justice questioned the discussion based on assumptions of personal benefits by two judges, including himself, in the case. He cautioned the executive against interfering in the court’s powers and revealed that they were not consulted before the formation of the commission.
The Chief Justice urged the AGP to first establish the justifiability of his petition and emphasized that objections cannot be raised against judges on mere allegations.