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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Inquiry Commission Formed to Investigate Allegations of Judicial Interference

The federal government forms a commission, headed by retired Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, to investigate allegations of intelligence agency interference in the judiciary, endorsed by the Supreme Court, following a series of meetings and a commitment to accountability and transparency.

The federal government, in response to allegations made by Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges regarding interference by intelligence agencies in judiciary matters, has approved the constitution of a one-member commission.

Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has been selected to lead the inquiry. This decision follows a meeting between Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, signaling a commitment to addressing concerns regarding judicial independence and executive interference.

Supreme Court Endorsement and Meeting Details

The Supreme Court has endorsed the proposal for an inquiry commission led by a retired judge to investigate the allegations raised by six IHC judges. The judiciary’s response to these allegations has been swift and thorough, with Chief Justice Isa convening multiple meetings to address the gravity of the situation. The full court meeting of Supreme Court judges underscored the significance of the issue, leading to a consensus on the need for further investigation.

The statement released by the Supreme Court provides detailed insight into the sequence of events, highlighting the urgency with which the matter was addressed. From individual meetings with concerned parties to a full court deliberation, the judiciary demonstrated its commitment to upholding the independence and integrity of the judicial system.

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Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, widely regarded as a “balanced” judge, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role as head of the inquiry commission. With over a decade of service as a Supreme Court judge, including a tenure as Chief Justice, Jillani has a distinguished record of delivering landmark judgments on fundamental rights, gender equality, minority rights, and legal education. His commitment to upholding the rule of law and defending judicial independence has earned him international recognition, including prestigious awards from the American Bar Association and the J Reuben Clark Law Society.

Inquiry Commission’s Mandate and Timeline

The inquiry commission, under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017, will be tasked with investigating the allegations of interference in judicial affairs by intelligence agencies.

With a mandate to ensure impartiality and integrity, the commission is expected to submit its report within 60 days. The appointment of Justice Jillani as head of the commission underscores the government’s commitment to conducting a thorough and transparent investigation into the matter, while upholding the principles of accountability and justice.