Home Minister should resign over press conference without audio’s verification, Supreme Court

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Justice Muneeb Akhtar of the Supreme Court has said that the Home Minister who held a press conference on the audio without verification should resign. Later, the Supreme Court extended the stay order restraining the Audio Leaks Commission from working.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the petitions filed against the audio leaks.

Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan read out the objections raised by the government on the bench.

The Chief Justice remarked, “You are missing one thing, Chief Justice of Pakistan is a legal post, no one else can use the charge of Chief Justice on the basis of assumption, the Chief Justice of Pakistan is present.”

CJP Bandial said that the Chief Justice was available in this case but was not informed about the formation of the commission.

The Attorney General said that Article 4 of the Code of Conduct says that there should be no conflict of interest.

The Chief Justice said, “Do you say that there is a conflict of interest between the three judges, we are not interested in the merits of the case, focus your arguments on the independence of the judiciary and interference in the internal affairs of the judiciary.”

The Attorney General referred to the alleged audio of the wife of a lawyer and the mother-in-law of the Chief Justice.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked what is the stand of the federation that the alleged audios are completely correct, the federation does not know whether the alleged audios are authentic, true or not.

The Attorney General replied that this was why the commission was formed.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that the Home Minister had held a press conference on an audio, can objection be raised on the bench on the basis of such an audio which is not verified?

The Chief Justice asked the Attorney General, “Is it your argument that the judges are being ridiculed, so the truth should be discovered?” On the issue of press conference on audios, we will ask PEMRA and the media, see what the Quran says in this regard, the first question is who planted such audios.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that if the audios are legally correct then it is fine, then tomorrow anyone will bring audio that the judge should separate from the bench, social media has great power but should not be misused.

The Chief Justice asked what action was taken against the Twitter account from which the audio was circulated.

After the Attorney General, Shoaib Shaheen, the lawyer of Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Zubair, started the arguments.

Referring to the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, the counsel for Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Zubairi said that first it should be determined whether the audios are correct or not, if such an example is made, then blackmailing will continue. He said that the state institutions have the capacity, or hackers have done all this, it is a conspiracy against the judiciary.

The Supreme Court extended the stay order to stop the audio leaks commission from working and adjourned the hearing.

The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on the objections raised by the federal government bench. The federal government has objected to three judges, including the Chief Justice, and requested to leave the bench.