Arshad Sharif case: Shaukat Siddiqui raises questions over SC monitoring
The Supreme Court of Pakistan heard on Friday the suo motu notice case in the journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder with former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Siddiqui appearing for the first time on the behalf of Sharif’s family.
Siddiqui raised an objection to the apex court’s apparent plans to monitor the probe into the high-profile murder. Arshad Sharif was killed in Kenya, during a self-imposed exile as he fled Pakistan to evade persecution.
“The court has no legal powers to monitor any investigation,” said Siddiqui who was recently asked by Sharif’s mother to represent the family in the case.
Siddiqui irked some of the judges on the bench. Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi questioned if there was any law that prevented the court from taking suo motu notice of a journalist’s murder committed abroad.
Earlier Justice Mandokhel told Siddiqui to lower his voice.
However, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that Siddiqui was correct in saying that the court had no power of conducting a probe.
But in the absence of court monitoring, the progress in the case would be slow, said the CJP.
He said the court neither formed a judicial commission nor did it interfere with the work of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). “If we constituted a judicial commission we would be able to summon anyone and everyone,” said the CJP.
The chief asked if the government had entered into a mutual legal assistance (MLA) treaty with Kenya. To which the additional attorney general told the court that a letter had already been sent to the Nairobi government and a reply was expected in ten days.
The court adjourned the hearing for three weeks to allow time for the government to enter the MLA treaty.
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