ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday remarked that the Supreme Court did not want to strike down the Justice Qazi Faez Isa-led commission, formed by the government to probe audio leaks, but the move to stay proceedings was merely aimed at protecting the independence of the judiciary.
Proposing that the judiciary and executive interact with each other in a transparent manner, Justice Bandial observed that the government should consult the chief justice of Pakistan before inducting judges into judicial commissions in line with convention. CJP Bandial made these remarks during the hearing of a review petition against the apex court’s decision to hold elections in Punjab on May 14.
He referred to the May 26 order which stayed proceedings of the commission and said the AGP had read out the order before the commission in which some important aspects were discussed and made it clear that the court did not want to “strike down the commission but to protect and defend the independence of the judiciary”.
“The judiciary and the executive interact with each other, but it should not be done in a secret or by way of coercive method but in a transparent manner,” observed the CJP. The government should not break the conventions of seeking the nomination of judges from the CJP before appointing any commission, he said, adding obviously he would not have become part of the commission.
Consultation with the CJP has always been carried out, like the one constituted to probe the death of journalist Saleem Shahzad, the Abbottabad Commission or the Memogate Commission, he observed, adding that the CJP nominated members to these bodies and the notifications were issued by the government later.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2023