Home Latest News New Audio Leak Raises Questions over Judicial Independence

New Audio Leak Raises Questions over Judicial Independence

PTI’s Fawad claims recorded conversation is fake

by Staff Report

A new audio leak, allegedly of a conversation Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and his brother, Faisal Chaudhry, went viral on social media on Friday, raising new questions on the impartiality and independence of the country’s senior judges.

The alleged conversation refers to three judges—Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti; Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial; and Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi. The audio starts with a voice, allegedly belonging to Fawad, saying: “The CJ Lahore is asking for a general [meeting] with Bandial to be arranged.” The second voice, allegedly of Faisal, who is representing the PTI in several cases, confirms this.

“Also meet [judge] Mazahar through Mr. Dar and tell him that a loaded truck is standing in your name, tell us what we should do with it,” Fawad continues, adding that “my own personal recommendation is that after doing three or four lawsuits on [PMLN’s Attaullah] Tarar, he should be given [Section] 228 there so that they come under some pressure at least.” Section 228 refers to “intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding.”

The voice that allegedly belongs to Faisal is then heard reassuring Fawad, saying he will look into the matter. He also adds that he would “take care of it” after “after asking them.” Fawad then concludes the call by urging Faisal to tell him of their response the next day.

In a posting on Twitter, Fawad claimed the audio leak was “fake,” stressing he had not asked the LHC CJ to help Justice Naqvi. “This audio has nothing to do with me, nor did I ever meet the chief justice of Lahore, nor did I ask him to help Justice Mazahar,” he wrote.

In the past two weeks, four audio leaks related to the judiciary have been leaked on social media. The first two of these were of alleged conversations of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi. In the first, he can be heard urging a lawyer to ensure a case is fixed before Justice Naqvi, while in the second he is allegedly in conversation with the judge over the case status of his aide.

Those calls prompted outrage from the legal fraternity, with the Pakistan Bar Council filing a reference against Justice Naqvi in the Supreme Judicial Council. The acrimony also played out in the apex court, with two judges noting the controversy surrounding Naqvi in notes issued during suo motu proceedings on fixing a date for elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Despite calls for a probe, however, the CJP has yet to order any such action and has continued to fix benches for hearings that include the judge.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment