Judges will resist attack on judiciary: Chief Justice


Justice Qazi Faez Isa says a full court may hear IHC judges’ case on 29th or 30th n We need to close this (intervention) now, forever, for everyone: Justice Mansoor n SC adjourns hearing of suo motu notice n Who is sending letters to judges, IHC CJ asks police n DIG Bukhari tells court police will get chemical report in a few days.


ISLAMABAD   -  The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday ad­journed the hearing of a suo motu notice regard­ing the matter raised by six judges of Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a let­ter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP).

A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Jus­tice Qazi Faez Isa heard the case. During the course of proceedings, the Chief Justice how­ever mentioned that a full court may hear the case from the next hear­ing on the 29th or 30th of this month. 

The Attorney General submitted that the feder­al government believes in the independence of judiciary. On behalf of the government, he as­sured to extend full co­operation to the court to address this matter.

A seven-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Jus­tice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Musarrat Hilali, and Naeem Akhtar Af­ghan conducted hearing of the suo moto notice. The pro­ceeding was live-streamed on the Supreme Court website.

Justice Faez said that a sev­en-member bench is hearing the matter as these judges were available in Islamabad, while some judges are in Karachi Reg­istry and in Lahore Registry. The CJP hinted that after Eid they may constitute a Full Court for hearing the suo motu on day to day basis. Last week six judg­es of the IHC – Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Tariq Mehmood Jahan­giri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz – wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) members, regarding attempts to pressure judges through the abduction and torture of their relatives as well as secret surveillance in­side their homes.

At the onset of the proceeding, AGP Awan read out the press release issued by the Supreme Court after the meeting be­tween the CJP and PM Shehbaz on March 28. Justice Faez stated that he met with the IHC judges the day he received their letter. “If we had not given importance to this matter, then this meeting could have been held after Ra­mazan,” the CJP remarked.

Justice Isa then observed that a full court acted as an “adminis­trative body and does not play a judicial function. Referring to his and Justice Mansoor’s meeting with PM Shehbaz, Justice Faez said he met with the premier — who he said was the “state head as he received the most votes” from the National Assembly — as the “administrative head” of the SC. He added that the meet­ing was not a “chamber or at-house meeting” but an “official administrative” one.

At that, AGP Awan highlight­ed that inappropriate comments were made on social media about the inquiry commission, and former chief justice Tas­saduq Hussain Jillani, who be­cause of social media recused. 

The CJP then said, “If there is any kind of attack on the judi­ciary’s independence, I would be at the frontline [in defend­ing judiciary] and for sure, my fellow judges would be stand­ing with me in this. And we nev­er accept interference. “If some­one has another agenda to do so and so, then they may become the Supreme Court Bar presi­dent or the chief justice and en­act his will. We will not tolerate pressure of this kind,” he added.

SCBA President Shehzad Shaukat told that the Associa­tion wanted an inquiry be con­ducted in the IHC judges’ letter, therefore they have supported the idea of constitution of inqui­ry commission. Best course was adopted by the government, but it was failed due to trolling of former CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jil­lani on social media. He submit­ted that the inquiry report could provide the best basis for pro­ceeding in this matter.

Justice Athar then questioned who is being accused in this mat­ter. It is executive that has been accused. He said this thing (in­tervention) has been going on for long. He further questioned how the executive will investi­gate when it itself is the accused. He added that people who have been indulged in interference in judicial work must be held ac­countable.

“There is culture of deviation. Can we ignore the violation of Fundamental Rights. Let all of us face this reality and don’t close our eyes and pretend that nothing has happened,” Justice Athar further said. The Chief Jus­tice told that nothing has been brought to his knowledge or at­tention either by any of the IHC judge or District judiciary. He said: “If things have happened during the tenure of his prede­cessors then he should not be held responsible for that.”

Justice Jamal said that why did not this Court consider the IHC letter an opportunity to stop the executive and agencies med­dling in the judicial affairs. He said that unless the judiciary is independent nothing can hap­pen, we can’t correct the past mistakes, but can do something for future. Upon that Justice Mansoor said that though the Supreme Court cannot direct the High Courts, but it can empow­er them. He said that in the in­stant matter the Islamabad High Court judges wrote to their chief justice, but when he took no ac­tion then they wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council. He said the Court (SC) has to see if the High Court judges, or Ses­sion or Civil Court judges com­plain to their respective High Court chief justice about the ex­ecutive or agencies intervention and if he does nothing then what this Court can do?

Justice Mansoor further said certainly the Supreme Court will not interfere in High Court affairs, as it also has contempt power, but this Court can em­power them (HC and subordi­nate courts’ judges). He added, “We need to lay down guidelines what they should do in case of executive intervention in ju­dicial working.” He continued, “There should be an institution­al response, and that be a strict one, to plug this system.” He maintained, “We need to close this (intervention) now and for­ever, and for everyone.”

He said that these things has been happening for a long time and we (SC) cannot act like os­trich to bury our head in sand. He said; “The IHC judges letter is an eye opener, wake up call. We should ensure that these things do not happen in future.”

The bench directed the Attor­ney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan and Su­preme Court Bar Association President to make written sub­mission in this regard on next date. Justice Athar observed that this Court granted bail in a case, but its order was frustrated. He asked from the AGP did you (ex­ecutive) have decided to take the issue of intervention to its logi­cal end, adding that everyone knows what has been happen­ing. He stated that prosecution is the executive function.

Justice Athar also said that the political engineering has been going on in this country, even the judges of the apex court are not safe. He added, “A letter is writ­ten by the IHC judges, who have alleged serious issues, therefore we have to take this it seriously.” The state of deviance is not ac­ceptable, Justice Athar warned.

Justice Naeem Akhtar said that there should be no inconsisten­cy between the words and deeds of the executive. Justice Athar then said that in order to flout the court order the executive rely on Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) to detain a person who is released by the courts.

Justice Jamal reminded that a reference was filed against in­cumbent chief justice, and the former Prime Minister (Imran Khan) on media had accept­ed that it was his mistake to file reference (against Justice Faez). He questioned whether any­one tried to probe on whose di­rection the reference was filed? AGP said the reference against Justice Faez was filed due to Faizabad dharna judgment.

The Chief Justice said that the country and all of us need to move forward. “We have start­ed accountability of our own in­stitution (SC), and now the other side (executive) should start ac­countability of it.” He said that if there can be external attack on judiciary then there can be in­ternal threats as well.

On Monday, ex-CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jillani — tasked to head the one-man inquiry commis­sion — recused himself from the role, urging Justice Isa to “re­solve the issues raised in the let­ter at the institutional level”. At the same time, the top court took suo motu notice of the matter and constituted a seven-mem­ber bench to hear the case.

A day ago, Barrister Aitzaz Ah­san and the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) filed separate but similar petitions to join the suo motu proceedings. Later, the bench deferred hear­ing of the case till April 29.


Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and four judges of the Supreme Court also Wednesday received anthrax-laced letters.

The letters were sent to senior puisne judge Justice Syed Man­soor Ali Shah, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Ameen ud Din and Justice Shahid Waheed, said the sources. They also said that the letter contained threat­ening images and anthrax pow­der. The letters were allegedly signed by a woman named Re­sham the wife of Waqar Hussain.

A day ago (Tuesday), eight judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) including Chief Jus­tice Aamer Farooq received sus­pected anthrax-laced letters raising security alarms within the judicial community.

This development occurred in the wake of a letter written by six judges of the IHC to the Su­preme Judicial Council (SJC), al­leging interference in judiciary matters, sparking controversy. Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahan­giri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz had signed the letter, which was dat­ed March 25.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) Registrar Office said on Wednes­day that four of its judges — Jus­tice Shujaat Ali Khan, Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan, Justice Alia Neelum and Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh — have received threat­ening letters. 

The three high court judges, Justice Khan, Justice Hasan and Justice Neelum, are the mem­bers of the administrative body. Following the development, the counter-terrorism department officials reached the LHC where security has been tightened. 

Additionally, a forensic team has also reached the court to examine the suspicious let­ters. The CCTV cameras placed around the high court are also being checked. 

A police team comprising ex­perts launched a thorough probe to collect facts and ascertain powdery substance after the eight IHC judges received “suspi­cious letters containing suspect­ed anthrax powder along with a threatening message”. The let­ter was sent by a woman namely Resham without mentioning her address, the sources said.


Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday censured the Islamabad Police for not tracing any accused in­volved in sending letters to the IHC judges. During the hearing of appeals against the cipher case verdict against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said that he would first talk about the incident when eight judges of the high court re­ceived suspicious letters

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