Vawda urges Justice Sattar to prove he is being threatened

Senator says judges’ failure to present evidence will raise questions on the credibility of allegations

Our Correspondent May 15, 2024
Senator Faisal Vawda, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Babar Sattar. PHOTO: FILE


Senator Faisal Vawda demanded on Wednesday that Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Babar Sattar present evidence supporting his allegations of interference in judicial matters and that he is being 'threatened'.

In the letter to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Sattar reportedly disclosed that a 'top official' from the security establishment threatened him to back off from scrutinizing surveillance procedures in the audio leaks case.

He highlighted that the focus of the malicious campaign in audio leak cases appears to be an intimidation tactic aimed at influencing judicial proceedings.

Vawda, in a press conference today, said it was time for Justice Sattar to prove his allegations with solid evidence or the matter would turn 'vague and complicated'.

He added that lack of proof will also raise several questions on the credibility of the judges’ allegations.

Vawda stated that Justice Babar, before his elevation to the IHC, informed then IHC CJ Atthar Minallah about judicial interference and questioned why the matter was not brought to the public at that time only.

The senator further asked Justice Sattar to provide evidence of the document sent to the IHC CJ citing judicial meddling.

“Article 19 of the Constitution, every Pakistani has the right to seek details of information. I, as a senator, seek details from you (Justice Sattar),” said Vawda.

“No work is finished until the paperwork is done.”

Vawda hoped the IHC judge will provide evidence soon and said several questions would arise if Justice Babar failed to do so. He added that when he appeared before Justice Minallah in a case, he found the judge ‘principally strict’.

Read IHC slams online campaign against its judge

The senator added that no one is superior to Pakistan and the country has equal laws for all. Vawda criticized the judiciary for taking notice of malicious campaigns against judges and not other incidents happening in the country.

Vawda earlier vehemently condemned the vilification of IHC’s Justice Sattar, saying that any slanderous campaign against an individual is intolerable.

He stressed that it was incumbent on the judge and the high court to clear the air and questioned whether the absence of written documentation regarding his financial matters, if indeed true, raised doubts not only about Justice Babar but also about the former IHC CJ.

Justice Sattar's letter to CJ Farooq surfaced on the same day Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan, in a rare press talk, refuted allegations of government or any other state institution interfering in judicial matters.

"According to my information, no officer of any security establishment has contacted or can contact any member of the judiciary. And the contact that was made was done through the AGP's office to ensure sensitive information was not made public," AGP Awan stated.

Awan's remarks followed the commencement of hearings by the IHC on two contempt pleas regarding the character assassination of IHC's Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on social media and the leaking of Justice Babar Sattar's personal details.

In March, six judges of the Islamabad High Court reached out to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking clarity on alleged intrusion by executive members, including intelligence operatives, in judicial matters.

Six judges of the IHC—Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz—penned a letter to the SJC led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, expressing concerns about the "interference" of intelligence agencies in court affairs.


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