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We get complaints of interference : LHC chief justice

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Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad expressed concerns about alleged interference in judicial matters by “institutions” during an event in Rawalpindi. He mentioned that the judiciary has received letters, complaints, and oral complaints about interference involving certain unnamed institutions. He referred to recent claims made by a sessions judge of a Sargodha Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) regarding interference by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He emphasized the judiciary’s commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities without fear or favour.

Justice Ahmad not only commended the courage of the ATC judge who fearlessly spoke out about the alleged incidents but also expressed his unwavering support for his subordinate judges. He encouraged them to face temporary worries without fear of being targeted for blackmail, assuring them that the establishment’s interference in the judiciary would soon be put to an end.

Justice Ahmad expressed his deep dissatisfaction with the situation in no uncertain terms. He referred to a specific incident involving a message asking the ATC judge to meet an authority from ISI in his chamber, followed by subsequent incidents. He also highlighted the letter from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) about pressure on judges, which led to the Supreme Court taking suo motu notice of the matter, further emphasizing the gravity of the situation.

Furthermore, Justice Ahmad emphasized the need to address such concerns seriously by summoning the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other officials to investigate the alleged threats. He made it clear that if excuses were to be made, the courts should be closed, demonstrating his commitment to ensuring a fair and independent judiciary.

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