The federal government has told the Islamabad High Court on Monday that summons issued by parliamentary committee to probe audio leaks have become ineffective. The government has also asked the court to dispose of the petitions.
Justice Babar Sattar presided over hearings in the audio leaks case on Monday, where requests filed by former First Lady Bushra Begum and Najam Saqib, son of former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. The court combined the two petitions and heard them together.
Attonery General Mansoor Awan told the court that in his opinion the parliamentary committee should not have taken up the matter of audio leaks.
He added that no audio leaks by any individual had been associated with the National Assembly, so the committee should not have sent out the notices.
However, the judge said that the initial question to be answered was whether electronic surveillance could be allowed and who was capable of doing it. He asked the attorney general if the audios had been recorded without the knowledge of the government.
Senator Raza Rabbani, who was appointed as amici in the case, told the court that the all notices issued by parliamentary committees become ineffective when the assembly is dissolved.
Rabbani said that in keeping with this rule, the summons issued to Saqib were no longer effective.
However, Justice Sattar said that there should be a legal framework for recording audios anywhere in the country. He said that allowing audios to be recorded in chambers and offices could not be allowed.
The judge added that he would give time to the respondents but an answer would have to be submitted regarding the jurisdiction of institutions to record audios.
However, Rabbani said that the separation of powers between institutions should be kept in mind and the court should not pursue the matter.
Justice Sattar then adjounred the hearing and gave the government one month to submit its reply.