PM Shehbaz Lambasts CJP For Expressing Solidarity With 'Tainted' Judge

PM Shehbaz Lambasts CJP For Expressing Solidarity With 'Tainted' Judge
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has criticised Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial for expressing solidarity with an SC judge after an audio leak allegedly featuring them surfaced last month.

“I want to ask the honourable Chief Justice via you Mr. Speaker,” he said while addressing the National Assembly, on Monday.

“You said that I and others make speeches in the assemblies after facing jail time,” he said. “Did we not emerge as innocent in the baseless cases against us, to the extent that we were issued bails?”

"But I do want to ask CJP, what message do you want to convey to the nation by expressing solidarity with a judge who is facing allegations of a serious nature?" the premier asked.

Though he didn't name the judge, but recently, Justice Mazahar Naqvi of the apex court was allegedly part of the controversial audio leak.

In the clip, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry was allegedly heard telling his brother Faisal to meet someone with the name of Mazahar and convey, “the entire truck is standing beside you, so tell us what to do now.”

Subsequently, several complaints were filed against the judge with the Supreme Judicial Council. On March 10, Pakistan Bar Council – the apex body representing the lawyers – filed a complaint of misconduct against SC judge Mazahar Naqvi with the SJC.

In the complaint, the council said the judges of the Supreme Court, constituting the SJC, devised the code of conduct for judges of superior courts “in the exercise of their powers under Article 209 (8) of the Constitution of Pakistan. Thus, respect and compliance with such code become the foremost duty of the judges of the Supreme Court”.

The body had asked the SJC to hold an inquiry and initiate “proper proceedings” on the information, related to Justice Naqvi’s “assets worth crores of rupees”, available on social media.