Has govt used all its resources to trace those behind audio leaks, asks CJP

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Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday asked if the government had utilised its resources to trace those behind recording and leaking audios of conversations.

He passed these remarks as a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) resumed hearing pleas challenging the formation of a judicial commission led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa to probe audio leaks.

Along with the CJP, the bench also comprises Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed.

“How and where are the audio leaks emerging from? Who is behind this?” Justice Bandial asked as the apex court took up a set of four petitions challenging the constitution of the audio leaks commission.

The petitions were moved by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and Advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi. All of the pleas requested the court to declare the constitution of the audio commission illegal.

The federal coalition had formed the commission on May 20 under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 2017. Led by senior puisne judge Justice Isa, the commission also comprises Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.

On May 28, the top court restrained the panel from going ahead with its task. The verdict was issued by the five-member bench hearing the case.

Subsequently, the government-app­ointed commission decided to put its proceedings on hold until the SC decided the petitions.

Last week, both the commission and the government had objected to SC proceedings.