Home Pakistan Islamabad Judges Say Pakistan’s ISI Interfering In Judicial Matters

Islamabad Judges Say Pakistan’s ISI Interfering In Judicial Matters


Islamabad high court judges have asked the supreme judicial council (SJC), a judicial body of the Supreme Court that hears cases of misconduct against judges, to convene a session over the alleged interference of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in judicial matters.

In the letter, six judges — Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Saman Fafat Imtiaz — sought guidance from the council.

“We are writing to seek guidance from the SJC with regard to the duty of a judge to report and respond to actions on the part of members of the executive, including operatives of intelligence agencies, that seek to interfere with discharge of his/her official functions and qualify as intimidation, as well as the duty to report any such actions that come to his/her attention in relation to colleagues and/or members of the courts that the High Court supervises,” the letter read.

The letter comes days after the apex court declared the removal of former IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui illegal. Siddiqui was sacked on October 11, 2018, by the SJC based on a speech he had delivered weeks ago at the Rawalpindi Bar Association. In his speech, Siddiqui had accused the ISI of influencing the court proceedings and forming benches of choice.

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“Justice Siddiqui had been removed after he had publicly alleged that operatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence (“ISI”), led by Major General Faiz Hameed (DG-C of ISI), were determining the constitution of benches at IHC and interfering with proceedings of the Accountability Court Islamabad,” the letter added.

The IHC judges, in their letter, noted that the code of conduct for judges prescribed by SJC does not guide on how they “must react to and/or report incidents that are tantamount to intimidation and interfere with judicial independence”.

“Such institutional consultation might then assist the Supreme Court to consider how best to protect independence of the judiciary, put in place a mechanism to affix liability for those who undermine such independence, and clarify for the benefit of individual judges the course of action they must take when they find themselves at the receiving end of interference and/or intimidation by members of the executive,” the judges added.