Maryam Nawaz accuses chief justice of sacrificing judiciary’s reputation for family

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Maryam Nawaz has strongly criticized the comments made by judges in the audio leaks case, alleging that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Umar Atta Bandial compromised the reputation of the judiciary for his mother-in-law’s sake.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Friday, Maryam Nawaz stated, “Umar Atta Bandial Sahib and like-minded people sacrificed the reputation of the judiciary for the sake of mother-in-law. Sorry.”

The Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected the objections raised by the former Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government against a five-member bench appointed to hear the alleged audio leaks case.

The five-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial and consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsen, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed, was constituted earlier this year in May.

The PDM government had submitted a civil miscellaneous application (CMA) to the Supreme Court, requesting that CJP Bandial, Justice Ahsan, and Justice Akhtar recuse themselves from the five-member larger bench handling the case.

In a brief verdict issued by Justice Ahsan on Friday, it was stated that the objections raised by the PDM government against the judges constituted an “attack on the independence of the judiciary.”

The Supreme Court reserved its decision on the PDM government’s petition from June 6.

In its CMA, the government had stated: “Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar should not preside over the audio leak case,” appealing that “the three respected judges should decline to sit on the five-member larger bench.”

“In the circumstances, until the next date of hearing, the operation of the impugned notification No.SRO.596(I)/2023 dated 19.05.2023 issued by the Federal Government is suspended, as is the order dated 22.05.2023 made by the Commission, and consequently, proceedings of the Commission are stayed,” Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial had announced in a brief order.