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CJP Assures for an Independent Judiciary in Pakistan

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Six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), displaying remarkable courage, have penned a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), meticulously detailing seven instances of alleged interference by intelligence officials. These instances, ranging from pressuring judges on cases to abducting a judge’s relative, throwing crackers at a judge’s house, and even installing spy cameras in a judge’s residence, are a blatant violation of judicial independence, sparking concerns about the methods used to influence court rulings.

The judges, in a plea for justice, have requested the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to convene a judicial convention, a crucial step in discussing such interference and determining a course of action for judges facing it. They have also sought clarification on the code of conduct for judges in such situations. It is of utmost importance to ensure that the judiciary remains independent and free from any external influences, a cornerstone of maintaining the rule of law in the country.

In response to the letter, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) called for a meeting with all Supreme Court judges. Subsequently, the Prime Minister and CJP decided to form an inquiry commission, a decision that was later challenged. The Supreme Court, taking suo motu notice of the situation, formed a seven-member bench to hear the case. During the hearing, the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) argued that the federal government had the authority to form an inquiry commission. However, the CJP, while acknowledging the seriousness of the allegations, argued that the SC could not form its own commission.

The judiciary, a pillar of our democracy, must remain independent and free from interference by intelligence agencies. The situation, underscored by the tensions between the judiciary and intelligence agencies in Pakistan, is a matter of grave concern. The outcome of the hearing and future actions taken by the government and SJC will determine the fate of judicial independence in the country. All parties involved must take immediate and appropriate action to protect the judiciary’s integrity and ensure that justice is served without any external influence.

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