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CJP releases audio of JCP meeting to clarify controversy

Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood rejected a statement about the JCP meeting, saying that the press release presented a “totally different version of events”.

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The Supreme Court (SC), on the orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) has made public the audio recording of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) following the controversy surrounding developments during Thursday’s closed-door meeting with regards to the case of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) chief justice.

The JCP had met to consider the elevation of PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rasheed Khan, Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court, and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Muhammad Shafi Siddiq, and Justice Naimatullah Phul­poto from the Sindh High Court to the Supreme Court.

To clarify, the controversy started when reports emerged that the JCP had rejected the nomination of the judges proposed by the CJP for elevation to the Supreme Court. Four members of the commission voted in favor of the nominees while five members opposed the appointments.

However, the official statement issued at the meeting said that the JCP chairman, after detailed discussion, proposed to “defer the meeting in order to enable the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan to place additional information and data about those already proposed and if he considers appropriate, add more names to the list of proposees for consideration by the JCP”.

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SC uploads audio of meeting

Following the press release, two senior judges rejected a statement issued by the apex court about the proceedings. Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood rejected a statement about the JCP meeting, saying that the press release presented a “totally different version of events”.

Both the senior judges called for the release of factual and correct detailed minutes of the meeting and stressed that JCP’s decisions made on the appointment of judges be released publicly.

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Therefore, on the instructions of the Chief Justice, the audio recording of the Judicial Commission was released on the website of the Supreme Court. The audio recording duration of 2 hours 25 minutes 29 seconds is given in the statement in which the Attorney General mentions the postponement of the names of the judges.

Most importantly, as per the audio of the JCP meeting, none of the judges used the word “adjourn or defer” as claimed by the Supreme Court’s press release issued right after the meeting.