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Gov rejects Justice Babar Sattar’s claim of interference in judiciary

Awan says AGP requested the court to hear surveillance-related matters in-camera | Law Minister says all pillars of state should work within their sphere | No compromise on national security: Atta Tar

By News Desk

May 14, 2024 06:58 PM


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The Federal Government Tuesday rejected the claims of Islamabad High Court Judge Justice Babar Sattar regarding the interference of the intelligence agencies in court matters.

The government claimed that the message, to which Justice Sattar was referring, was shared with the court by the Attorney General of Pakistan instead of intelligence agencies, reported 24News HD TV channel.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan in a rare press talk also refuted allegations that the government or any other state institution was interfering in judicial matters.

Awan’s remarks came shortly after the IHC began hearing two contempt pleas pertaining to the character assassination of IHC’s Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on social media and the leaking of Justice Babar Sattar’s personal details.

Awan maintained that it was necessary to issue clarification as the matter of the IHC judges' letter was being presented in a manner that implies a growing conflict between the executive and the judiciary.

“It was requested to hear surveillance-related matters in-camera, to ensure the matter does not go into the public domain in order to protect the capabilities of our security and intelligence agencies,” the AGP maintained, adding that this was communicated to the relevant quarters.

He clarified that the office of the AGP and the AAG acts as a "bridge" to facilitate communication.

AGP clarified: "According to my information, no officer of any security establishment has contacted or can contact [any member of the judiciary]. And the contact that was made, was done through the AGP's office to ensure sensitive information was not made public."

Earlier, Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Information Minister Atta Tar also rejected the claim that the government was interfering in court matters.

Federal Law Minister said that the government believed in freedom of judiciary and that all pillars of the state should work in their own sphere and a perception that courts were being interfered with by the agencies was wrong.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Federal Information Minister Atta Tarar, the Law Minister made it clear that intelligence agencies had not made any interference in the court affairs and the new letter written by an IHC judge was based on the misconception as IHC was asked to hold an in-camera session on some sensitive issue as it was practice worldwide.

Information Minister Atta Tarar also made it clear that the Attorney General of Pakistan requested IHC judges to hold the in-camera session of the sensitive case and the judge was not asked to stay away from the hearing of cases.

Atta Tarar said there will be no compromise on national security. He said the government believed in the independence of the judiciary and the perception of interference in the court matter was absolutely wrong.

Information Minister said there are reports that the lower courts' judges were being pressurised to decide cases as per their directives. Atta Tarar said the judges letter to CJP was a controversial matter.

Azam Tarar made it clear that the independence of the judiciary was a must but it does not mean that all issues should be moved to court and the court should decide its fate. He said all the departments should work in their domain.

The Law Minister said to regulate social media, the Information Ministry after consultations with all the stakeholders, sent a law draft aimed at creating rules and regulations for digital media to the Federal Cabinet for approval.

After holding a detailed discussion on the draft during the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was of the view that the government should try to create consensus on key issues, therefore, the PM constituted a committee comprising the members of govt allies to review the proposed draft and asked the committee to give feedback to the Cabinet in this regard.

Azam Tarar was of the view that consensus and unity among the political parties was the need of the hour. He said PM Shehbaz was of the view that to avert economic crisis, government and political parties should join hands to make the future of the country bright.

Earlier, to a question whether a convicted person’s case hearing can be shown live on a TV channel, the Law Minister said historically we have not seen any such example but it was the court’s order so the government will not interfere in court matters.

Azam Tarar said thousands of convicted people were languishing in jails, whether courts would allow and give them such a right or not. He said courts should regulate all such cases.  


News Desk


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