The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed a case for contempt proceedings against independent Senator Faisal Vawda for May 17.

The case will be heard by a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justices Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Irfan Saadat Khan at 9am.

The advocate on record will be Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan.

The development comes a day after Vawda questioned judges about their allegation of interference in judicial matters by intelligence agencies, saying that without evidence no one had the right to raise a finger at institutions.

In late March, six Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges — out of a total strength of eight — wrote a startling letter to the Supreme Judicial Council members, regarding attempts to pressure judges through the abduction and torture of their relatives as well as secret surveillance inside their homes.

Meanwhile, in a letter written to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq on the breach of his family’s personal data, Justice Babar Sattar had said that while hearing the audio leaks case, he issued notices to the heads of intelligence and investigation agencies, besides relevant ministries.

“At some point during the hearing of the case, I was delivered messages on behalf of top officials in the security establishment asking me to ‘back off’ from extensive scrutiny of the existence and mode of surveillance,” the judge had said.

In his press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Vawda came down hard on the judiciary while addressing the media. He had said the country’s judicial history was not up to the mark and institutions should not be targeted.

During his press conference, Vawda had said that the trend of targeting institutions should be stopped.

He had said why Justice Sattar had raised his voice “one year after the alleged interference”, adding that if the IHC judges had any evidence they should come forward. “We will stand with you”.

However, the senator had said institutions should not be targeted on the basis of mere accusations.

In a Supreme Court hearing on changes to the country’s accountability laws today, Justice Athar Minallah had addressed the AGP and said: “You have now started threatening the judges through proxies? Will you make a football from our wigs?”

The AGP in turn said that Vawda’s press conference was tantamount to contempt. “We do not support this action,” AGP Awan said.

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