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Supreme Court being maligned via audio leaks: CJP

Supreme Court being maligned via audio leaks: CJP

Supreme Court being maligned via audio leaks: CJP

Umar Ata Bandial

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  • CJP Bandial said the Supreme Court is being maligned via audio takes
  • He said the court is acting patiently but will defend the judiciary
  • He said the court will intervene over malpractice in conducting elections
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ISLAMABAD Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial expressed concern and said that the Supreme Court is a constitutional institution and is being “maligned” via audio tapes.

The remarks were passed while heading a two-member bench hearing a plea filed by former Lahore capital city police officer Ghulam Mehmood Dogar against his transfer.

The court also disposed of the appeal as it was withdrawn by the petitioner through his counsel Advocate Abid Zuberi as he was reinstated by the Services Tribunal.

“The Supreme Court is a constitutional institution which is being maligned through audio tapes,” the CJP said. He added that the apex court will protect the integrity of the institution.

“These audio tapes defaming constitutional institutions are of no importance. We are being patient and taking a lenient view of these tapes. We will protect the institution,” said the CJP.

He added that it was unfortunate that baseless and false allegations have been made against the judges in audio and video leaks. “What is the authenticity of these audio and video tapes?” he remarked.

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At the outset of the hearing, Dogar’s lawyer Abid Zuberi told the court that he wishes to withdraw the petition. He said a bench of the Services Tribunal has reinstated Dogar.

The chief justice replied that another bench of the Services Tribunal suspended the reinstatement order. He said the petition has become ineffective after the election commissioner allowed transfers in the bureaucracy.

Chief Justice said the court will intervene if there is any malpractice in conducting transparent elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) lawyer informed the court that the election schedule has been issued for the polls in Punjab.

He said holding free and fair elections is the responsibility of the ECP under Article 21. He said the ECP has the power to shuffle the bureaucracy for a level-playing field. He added that the caretaker government can also transfer officers with the ECP’s approval.

Justice Yahya Afridi asked when the ECP exercises its power of issuing transfer and posting orders.  CJP Bandial remarked that the ECP uses the power to transfer officers to ensure transparent elections.

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CJP Bandial said the caretaker government transfers officials with the ECP’s permission. He said the ECP can itself give orders to the caretaker government to transfer officers.

CJP Bandial remarked that the ECP has wide-ranging powers, adding that all political parties should get an equal chance during elections.

The top judge also remarked that the ECP should not give a free hand to the caretaker government for the transfer of the officers. He added that ECP should ask the caretaker government about such transfers.

He said the Supreme Court’s words are misinterpreted. He added that the court had remarked that in 1988 there was an honest prime minister which was misunderstood by the Parliament.

He added that the court has protected constitutional institutions in its decisions. The top judge said the judiciary is being attacked and will be protected.

 

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