‘Executive’ interference in judicial affairs won’t be tolerated: CJP


ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa said that interference in the judicial affairs by the ‘executive’ will not be tolerated under any circumstances, ARY News reported.

“The CJP clearly stated that interference by the executive in the affairs and judicial workings of judges will not be tolerated and under no circumstances can independence of the judiciary be allowed to be compromised,” a statement issued by the top court read.

The statement was released following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and the SC’s full court meeting.

The CJ and the Senior Puisne Judge stated that independence of judiciary is a foundational pillar that upholds the rule of law and a strong democracy.

As per the statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz fully endorsed the views expressed by the CJP and Senior Puisne Judge, assuring them to take appropriate measures to ensure an independent judiciary.

The statement added that during the meeting a proposal was made to constitute an inquiry commission under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017 which should be headed by a retired Judge of impeccable integrity to inquire into the matter.

Read More: IHC judges letter: Govt announces to form inquiry commission

“The CJP received a letter from six judges of the Islamabad High Court on 25th March. Considering the gravity of the allegations levelled in the said letter, the CJP called a meeting on the same day with the Chief Justice and all the Judges of the Islamabad High Court. The concerns of all the Judges were heard individually in a meeting that lasted for over two and a half hours,” the statement read.

It added that Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa called another full court meeting to brief other the judges on what had transpired at the meeting with the prime minister.

Earlier in the day, the federal government announced to establish an inquiry commission aims to investigate the issues raised in the letter.

In a press conference held by Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Attorney General Mansoor Ali Shah, the announcement was made regarding the letter, primarily addressed matters pertaining to the tenure of the former Chief Justice, penned by the IHC judges.

Read More: IHC judges seek SJC meeting over interference in judicial affairs

The commission, to be formed under the Inquiry Commission Act, will entrust an impartial retired judicial figure with the inquiry.

Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar stated that the Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa also endorsed the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the matter.

Highlighting the distinction between Parliament and the High Court, Azam Nazir Tarar reiterated that judges and politicians have their respective duties and responsibilities.

The matter to limelight when six serving judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) penned a letter to Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), urging it to summon a judicial convention to review matter of “interference of intelligence agencies with judicial functions”.

Six IHC top judges – including Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Baqir Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Salman Rafat Imtiaz – penned the letter to SJC in the aftermath of Supreme Court s March 22 judgement on Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui s dismissal case.

In the letter, the top judges sought guidance from the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) with regard to the duty of a “judge to report and respond to actions on part of members of the executive, including operatives of intelligence agencies, that seek to interfere with discharge of his/her official functions and qualify as intimidation”.

It pointed out the Supreme Court s March 22 judgement on Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui s dismissal case, in which it has been declared that Justice Siddiqui was wrongfully removed on the basis of a SJC report dated 11.10.2018, and would be deemed to have retired as a judge of the IHC.

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