ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notice to the Federation, Ministry of Law and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan challenging the appointment. Appointment of an anti-terrorism court judge as president of a special court for the password case and trial in prison under the Official Secrets Act.
A division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Raffat Imtiaz on Thursday heard the ICA of Imran Khan, who filed it through counsel Advocate Salman Akram Raja.
During the hearing, Judge Maingul Hassan stated that we are in 2023 and we are in the open policy period. He added that the period in which the dispensation of justice should be displayed is the period of openness.
Advocate Raja took the view that the appointment of Justice Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain was “unconstitutional” as the Law Ministry notified it without consulting the chief justice.
Responding to this, additional solicitor general Munawar Iqbal Duggal stated that the judge was appointed as per law after consulting the chief arbitrator.
After reviewing the written response submitted by the Ministry of Law, the court asked to see the decision of the federal cabinet to find out how the appointment of the Special Court judge was carried out.
AAG stated that in paragraph iii of the 6th paragraph of the summary sent by the Ministry of Law, it was written that the summary sent by the ministry on this issue was approved by the Federal Cabinet. He added that the notification was issued after the approval of the federal cabinet.
Raja argued that the judge should have been appointed after consulting the chief judge concerned, but the federal government appointed the Special Official Secret Law Court judge on its own.
The delegation then said that they could ask the Registry Office whether the consultation process with the chief judge had been carried out. AAG pointed out that the summary stated that the appointment of the judge was made after consultation with the IHC chief judge.
Raja argued that the consultation should be with the chief justice of Pakistan as it is a federal matter. He informed the court that the public, the defendant’s family members, and the media did not have access to the sentencing hearing in this case.
He said that the hearing was held in a small room of the prison and that the rights of the defendants should also be respected in this regard.
Later, the court postponed the matter to November 6 after the notification was published to the defendants.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023
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