Analysts laud formation of commission to probe judges’ allegations

In Local
March 29, 2024

Analysts have stressed the importance of a clear and transparent investigation into alleged interference in judiciary affairs, particularly regarding pressure on judges.

This call for transparency came during the political talk show, “Experts,” aired on Express News, where Naveed Hussain, Chief Editor of The Express Tribune, highlighted the necessity to focus on discussing alleged interference in the judiciary.

Hussain pointed out that a significant majority of judges from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had submitted a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), outlining grave allegations. He argued against victim-blaming, likening it to questioning why certain past judicial decisions took so long to rectify.

He questioned whether similar interference had occurred in the past, particularly citing cases involving former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He expressed concerns over the judiciary’s role, labelling it a “willing pawn” and calling for a fair investigation into the allegations raised by the IHC judges.

However, not all on the panel shared the same sentiment. Amir Ilyas Rana, Express News Bureau Chief in Islamabad, criticised the IHC judges for not providing specific evidence of executive meddling. He argued that the judges should have taken action against those pressuring them by holding them in contempt of court.

Rana asserted that the convening of the full court was at the behest of the Supreme Court, leading to prime minister’s meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa. He highlighted that the formation of the inquiry commission would be based on the full court’s decision.

Similarly, Faisal Husain, Express News Bureau Chief in Karachi, expressed fears of suppression through the formation of an inquiry commission. He questioned the efficacy of previous commissions and warned of potential consequences, urging proactive decisions.

Faisal argued that the judges’ letter has cast doubt on the entire system, adding that the integrity of the justice system is now under scrutiny, with past decisions being questioned and the credibility of future rulings potentially undermined.

Read more: Political analysts say PTI being ‘pushed to the brink’

He foresees the emergence of a new lawyers’ movement and believes it could have even greater significance than previous ones. He suggested paying heed to the signs and making timely decisions accordingly.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema-e-Islam Council, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, criticised the IHC judges for implicating intelligence agencies without substantial evidence. He advocated for a credible head of the inquiry commission and questioned the judges’ delayed actions, suggesting it indicated a compromise under pressure.

He emphasised the necessity of establishing an inquiry commission. He stated that the commission’s head should be someone trustworthy and credible, and he should request evidence from the relevant judges.

Ashrafi also raised concerns about the delay in the judges’ actions, highlighting that their prolonged silence represents a significant lapse. By remaining silent, they may have succumbed to pressure and delivered erroneous judgments. Ashrafi questioned who would be held responsible for these incorrect judgments.

Mohammad Ilyas, Express News Bureau Chief in Lahore, echoed similar sentiments, emphasising the need for timely action by the judges.

He commended the prime minister’s initiative in forming a commission but stressed the importance of thorough interrogation to uncover any undue influence on judicial decisions.

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