IHC slams online campaign against its judge

Court describes social media drive maligning Justice Sattar as ‘false and malicious’

Our Correspondent April 29, 2024
Justice Babar Sattar of the Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: ihc.gov.pk


The Islamabad High Court on Sunday described the social media campaign against Justice Babar Sattar as “false and malicious”, saying that the judge had never held the nationality of any country except that of Pakistan.

In a statement, the IHC clarified that Justice Sattar was issued a permanent resident card (also called a green card) by the US following his residence and work there after being regarded as a person of extraordinary ability.

It further read that the judge had left his job in the US in 2005 and returned to Pakistan, adding that he had lived and worked in the country since then.

The IHC statement further stated that as part of the malicious campaign, confidential information about Justice Sattar had been posted and reposted on social media, including travel documents of the judge, his wife and children, accompanied by untruthful as well as malignant allegations.

It continued that details of the judge’s properties provided in his tax returns had also been shared on social media.

“He studied law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and pursued graduate education at Harvard Law School,” it stated, adding that the judge had worked as a lawyer with a law firm in New York.

“Prior to Justice Sattar's elevation as a judge of IHC, he had reported to [the] Chief Justice Islamabad High Court that he was a Pakistani national and had a Green Card that allowed him to travel to the US without a visa.”

The statement read that Justice Sattar’s wife and children were dual citizens of Pakistan and the US.
“They were living in the US till 2021, but returned to Pakistan after Justice Babar Sattar was appointed as a judge of IHC and now live in Islamabad.”

The IHC noted that Justice Sattar's mother was an educationist, who had established a school in Rawalpindi in 1992 as its sole proprietor. “Justice Babar Sattar has no ownership interest in it [the school] and is not involved with its management. Before being appointed a judge, his law firm acted as [the] legal adviser to the school and received a retainer fee for its legal services.”

The court clarified that Justice Sattar owned real estate assets in Pakistan and the US that were listed in his tax returns, which were scrutinised by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan prior to his elevation as a judge.

“All real estate assets that he owns are either inherited or were acquired while he was a lawyer. He has acquired no real estate assets since his appointment as a judge,” it added.

The statement read that Justice Sattar was not involved with the management of any business entity.

“As a judge, he has not presided over any cases in which any of his family members have any interest.”

The statement concluded by stating that this document was being issued as the IHC was committed to upholding and enforcing the Code of Conduct for the judges of the high court. “As an institution exercising public authority, [the IHC] remains accountable to the people of Pakistan.”

It must be noted that Justice Sattar was among one of the six IHC judges, who on March 25 this year wrote a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council seeking guidance to counter the alleged interference of intelligence agencies in their affairs.


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