Another IHC judge alleges online defamation

Justice Kayani writes to CJ, urging contempt action against defamers

Our Correspondent May 07, 2024
Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani. PHOTO: FILE


Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on Tuesday wrote a letter to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq for taking contempt of court action over the growing negative social media campaign against him.

A day earlier, IHC’s Justice Babar Sattar had also penned a similar letter to the high court’s chief justice, informing him about a malicious social media campaign targeting him.

The court decided to elevate the matter from a mere letter to formal contempt of court proceedings against those maligning the judge.

According to sources, Justice Kayani in his letter highlighted the importance of urgently taking action against the individuals responsible for spreading misinformation about him and engaging in activities maligning the court.

On April 28, the IHC issued a statement denouncing the online campaign against Justice Sattar as “false and malicious”.

The court emphasised that the judge had solely held Pakistani nationality throughout his life.

The IHC clarified that Justice Sattar was granted a permanent resident card (also known as a Green Card) by the US due to his exceptional abilities after residing and working there.

Read also: IHC takes action against smear campaigners

It further stated that the judge left his US employment in 2005 and returned to Pakistan, where he had resided and worked since then.

The IHC statement also mentioned that confidential information about Justice Sattar, including travel documents of the judge, his wife, and children, along with unfounded as well as malicious allegations, had been widely circulated on social media.

“Before his appointment as an IHC judge, Justice Sattar had informed the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court that he was a Pakistani national and held a Green Card allowing visa-free travel to the US.”

The statement further clarified that Justice Sattar’s wife and children held dual citizenship of Pakistan and the US. “They resided in the US until 2021 but returned to Pakistan after Justice Babar Sattar’s appointment as an IHC judge and now reside in Islamabad,” it read.

Both Justices Kayani and Sattar were among the six IHC judges, who in March this year, had reached out to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking clarity on the alleged intrusion of executive members, including intelligence operatives, in judicial matters.

They also suggested holding a judicial convention on this subject.

Read: AGP defends Justice Babar Sattar amid social media campaign

Instead of giving an 'institutional response', the Supreme Court, by majority, approved the formation of an inquiry commission to investigate into the six IHC judges’ letter.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa also held meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss this matter.

However, former CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jillani recused himself from heading the inquiry commission formed to investigate into this issue.

Following his recusal, the top court took suo motu notice of the judges’ letter.

During the first hearing, SC’s Justice Athar Minallah held that the burden was on the executive to ensure that nobody was interfering with judicial functions.

It is being witnessed that a malicious drive has started against Justices Athar Minallah and Sattar on social media. However, Justice Kayani seems to be the latest victim of this online smear campaign.


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