Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar has termed a leaked audio conversation allegedly involving him and the PTI lawyer Tariq Rahim as “interference in privacy”. Nisar also questioned the authenticity of the conversation which revolves around the legal issues currently being discussed at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, where Rahim is representing the PTI.
Talking to Aaj News after the leaked conversation surfaced on social media on Tuesday, the former CJP said that this audio cannot be used anywhere and that those who promote it are also criminals.
In the alleged audio of Saqib Nisar appears to be guiding the PTI lawyer on a possible contempt of court petition.
A voice, which is said to be of Saqib Nisar, can be heard saying, “Khawaja Sahib! I wanted to make a request to you,” and after getting a positive nod from the latter, the former CJP said, “You must see a judgment. This is a judgment of seven member bench”.
Another voice in the video, which is said to be of PTI lawyer Rahim, can be heard seeking more details about the judgment mentioned by Nisar.
The alleged voice of Nisar then can be heard mentioning suo moto number 4 of 2010 and referring to page 553 of the judgment issued by the seven-member bench.
He further asked him to go through it to get a better view and further told Rahim to refer this to the council. They discussed clause 3 of the judgment, saying that’s the way out.
“Yes, I have read the judgment. In it, they said that until it becomes the act, if you read it carefully, it is in clause three,” says Rahim.
“We are just waiting for the order,” Rahim tells Nisar, adding that they are proceeding with a petition seeking contempt of court, and the conversation ends with pleasantries.
What is the significance of the audio
It is not clear exactly what court case is being discussed in the leaked conversation, but the reference to “until it becomes an act” suggests that the two members of the legal fraternity are discussing the Supreme Court Practices and Procedure Bill 2023.
The bill was passed by the Parliament twice earlier this month but an eight-member Supreme Court bench passed an order against it declaring that the moment the act comes into being it will be suspended.
The government, however, notified the bill into law on April 21 just before the Eid holidays began.
The new laws clips some of the power enjoyed exclusively by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) and redistributes among the CJP and the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The powers include the authority to constitute court benches and the privilege to take suo motu notice under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.