Govt Hired Private Agency To Track Justice Isa’s Activities Over A Decade
Supreme Court judge Justice Isa’s counsel has stated in court that the government hired the services of a private agency in United Kingdom to track the judge’s activities over the past decade.
During the hearing of a petition regarding the presidential reference against the Supreme Court judge, the judge’s counsel stated to the court that Justice Isa was willing to submit a sealed affidavit that would reveal how he became aware that a surveillance operation was underway against him and his family.
According to a report in Express Tribune, the offer was put forth on behalf of the judge by his attorney Muneer A Malik, to the SC bench led by Justice Umar Bandial, who was hearing a set of petitions challenging the presidential reference against the SC judge.
The offer received a strong response from the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan, who opposed the submission of such a document.
AGP Anwar Khan argued before the court that Article 184(3) of the constitution of Pakistan said that the court could not record evidence.
In response, Justice Bandial said that Justice Isa had alleged mala fide intent on the part of executive authorities and was trying to establish his claim.
Moreover, Justice Isa’s counsel said that the federal government had never revealed how the information on the judge and his family’s properties was gathered.
Malik claimed that the government had procured the services of a private agency in the United Kingdom to track the judge’s activities over the past decade.
He also stated that the government had in its reply delineated the entire travel history of Justice Isa and his family.
Justice Isa’s counsel further stated that he wasn’t sure what mode of surveillance was employed, but, “Emails could have been hacked, or phones tapped, or the defence attache may have obtained secret information related to the UK properties,” he added.
In response, a judge of the bench observed that mala fide intent could not be established on the basis of inferences.
Furthermore, Justice Bandial observed that it was necessary that the Supreme Judicial Council conducted a proper inquiry on the matter as a presidential reference against a judge could not be simply thrown out.
In response, Malik gave the reference of the Supreme Court judgement in the Iftikhar Chaudhry case in which a presidential reference against Chaudhry was put down by the court on the basis of mala fide intent.
The court adjourned the hearing till Monday next week.