AGP opposes larger bench hearing pleas against constitution of panel probing audio leaks

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Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan on Friday objected to the five-member larger bench hearing a set of pleas challenging the constitution of a government-appointed judicial formed last week to probe audio leaks which have surfaced on social media over the last few months.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, a five-judge panel consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed is hearing four petitions moved by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Shahid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi.

All four petitions seek to declare the constitution of the audio commission illegal.

The commission, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, was formed on May 20 under Section 3 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 2017 and is required to conclude the task within a month.

Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq are also included in the commission which will have “all the power to fix responsibility against the delinquents for their alleged role behind phone tapping and could exercise authority to constitute special teams consisting of experts, or form an international team and seek international cooperation or exercise powers” under the Criminal Code of Procedure.

Earlier this week, the commission had conducted its maiden session in which it decided to make its proceedings public to ensure transparency and openness. The next session will be held on May 27 (tomorrow).