KARACHI: Amid raging controversy in the country over the establishment’s alleged attemp­­ts to pressurise the judiciary, Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi on Saturday said he was not pressured in any such way, Dawn.com reported.

Responding to a reporter’s qu­­estion during an event, Justice Ab­­basi said: “I have been a judge for 15 years and there has been no pressure on me till today or those beside me,” pointing to lawyers standing with him.

“I don’t think there has been any pressure on them nor are they the ones to tolerate it.”

He said there were some “unseen matters” that he got to know about through social media. However, CJ Abbasi said that even if there was any pressure on any judge, no judge could be dishonest “barring few exceptions”.

A couple of such efforts turned out to be a misunderstanding

“Speaking for myself, I can say with confidence and without any fear of contradiction that no one has attempted to approach me,” he reiterated. “Yes, there are some direct or indirect attempts or some gentleman comes and goes after saying something but thank God no one has put any pressure on me.”

He added, “Once or twice when such things happened, they were cur­bed then and there and it was later said that it was a misunderstanding.”

He said that there was no “direct [atte­mpt]” so far to pressure him for any case or any particular matter by anyone or state agencies.

His comments came a day after Lahore High Court Chief Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed Khan expressed the hope that “external meddling” in the judiciary would soon come to an end.

He said he had received complaints and letters — many verbally — of interference in judicial matters by “institutions”.

He advised the sessions courts judges not to worry about the temporary troubles and urged them to face it with bravery and not to become a target of any of their blackmailing.

“Temporary worries do come but you have to face them eye to eye and not be a target of any of their blackmailing. Do not be hesitant to make any kind of sacrifice.”

In late March, six Islamabad High Court 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.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2024

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