The PTI has moved to the Supreme Court against the formation of Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led three-member commission, investigating the audio leaks.
In the hearing, the SC judge remarked that they won’t take ‘action against any judge’ as they formally begin an investigation of the alleged audio leaks matter on Monday.
The other members of the commission include Chief Justice Of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Amir Farooq and Chief Justice Balochistan High Court (BHC) Naeem Akhtar Afghan.
Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan also appeared before the commission. Justice Qazi Faez Isa asked under which law the commission was formed.
He replied that the commission was constituted under the Commission of Inquiry Act 2016.
PTI challenges formation of commission
PTI has moved to the Supreme Court against the formation of a judicial commission by the federal government to probe the audio leaks which surfaced in the media.
The petition was filed through advocate Babar Awan, in which the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Interior have been made parties.
It has been argued in the petition that a judicial commission cannot be formed without the permission of the Chief Justice and no judge can be nominated for it.
It has been said in the petition that the forum for investigation or action against a judge is only reserved to the Supreme Judicial Council. The audio tapes should be done under the nose of the same government, it should also be included in the investigation process who did these audio tapes.
It has been requested that the top court should follow its 1999 judgment and order the formation of a commission to investigate the audio leaks fairly and transparently, while the notification for the establishment of this judicial commission should be declared null and void.
Proceeding to be made public
The commission announced that the audio leaks hearing will be made public and it will also examine the request for in-camera proceedings on the sensitive issue.
The commission also directed the attorney general to provide mobile phones and SIMs to the commission and said that the phone number provided to them will be made public.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa ordered the attorney general to provide all records by Wednesday. Moreover, the commission also asked him to submit a list of people involved in it.
“All concerned, including witnesses and the general public will be informed through advertisements, published in three Urdu and three English language national newspapers of wide circulation; Urdu advertisement shall be published in Urdu and English advertisement in English newspaper,” a written order said.
Hafeezullah Khajjak has been secretary to the commission.
The commission remarked that if there is an error in the transcript, action will be taken against the concerned officer, the federal government should ensure the delivery of all the material by Wednesday, whose audios are provided their names, designations, and contact numbers.
Justice Isa also clarified the jurisdiction of the inquiry commission and remarked that the inquiry commission is not the Supreme Judicial Council.
“No action will be taken against any judge, the commission has been set up only to determine the facts, there will be no interference in the jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Council,” he remarked.
The commission can issue summons to those who do not cooperate, efforts will be made not to issue summons, but notices, he remarked.
The commission has also been directed to make arrangements to play audio leaks during the proceedings, and the Attorney General has also been asked to determine the concerned agency to verify the audio.
He questioned how the audio leaks would be verified. On which the commission said that the Punjab Forensic Agency can be contacted for verification.
Justice Isa remarked that the forensic agency worker should be present in the proceedings, so that if any person refuses, then there is immediate verification.
Moreover, the commission has directed all concerned authorities to issue notices and get compliance done immediately, while upon receiving the notice, the proof has been ordered to be provided in the form of a photograph or signature.
The commission will meet again on May 27.