Foreign forensic of ex-CJP’s ‘audio clip’ proposed

IHC seeks names of authorised agencies for this purpose from AGP, PBC


Our Correspondent January 14, 2022
Former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court on Friday proposed conducting a forensic analysis of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar’s alleged audio clip by a foreign agency.

The court also sought the names of foreign authorised forensic agencies from the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC). In the audio clip leaked in November last year, the former CJP was heard allegedly instructing an unidentified person to sentence former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and keep them in prison till the general elections of 2018.

Read: Ex-CJP rejects allegations of keeping Nawaz in jail till 2018 polls

In response, the former chief justice had described the clip as “fabricated” and “contrary to facts”.
On Friday, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah continued hearing a petition filed by Sindh High Court Bar President Salahuddin Ahmed in which he had asked the court to set up a commission to investigate into the audio clip.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked that the whereabouts of the original audio clip was not known. The petitioner replied that he too was not aware of it either.
“We request that an independent commission be formed to inquire into the matter,” the petitioner prayed.

The IHC CJ remarked that the matter was related to a pending appeal. Those who had appealed had not demanded an inquiry, he added. Justice Minallah also told Salahuddin that in his petition, it was alleged that the “benches of this court were formed under pressure”. Advocate Salahuddin replied that this allegation was not in his petition, but was made in the Rana Shamim affidavit case.

Read More: 2021 - A year of audio and video leaks

To this, the IHC CJ questioned whether or not there was any evidence that the court was compromised and the bench was formed under pressure. “When you say that there should be an inquiry, it will include the judges in the bench,” the judge observed.

The petitioner told the court that the main appeal in his petition was related to the inquiry of Nisar's alleged audio clip and it did not state anywhere that he was talking to a judge on the other side.
However, Salahuddin pointed out that other references were added to explain the context of the matter.
“This is not a time for us to call anyone guilty or innocent. It will be premature,” he said, adding that an inquiry would reveal the truth.

The petitioner further stated that journalist Ahmad Noorani’s report on ex-CJ’s audio clip on Fact Focus mentioned that the leaked clip was not edited. To this, the judge remarked that many matters come up on the internet and tomorrow more petitions might be filed pertaining to the audio, asking for their inquiries.

“Neither the report of the forensic agency you are now referring to nor the report obtained from the internet could be relied upon,” the IHC CJ noted. Subsequently, the court asked the AGP and the PBC to propose names of foreign authorised forensic agencies to conduct an analysis of the leaked clip. The judge also directed the petitioner to provide the audio clip and adjourned the hearing till January 28.

 

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