I was threatened to back off in audio leaks case: Justice Sattar

An Islamabad High Court Judge, Justice Babar Sattar, has recently written to the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Aamer Farooq, detailing supposed meddling in the legal processes, as covered by Express News.

Justice Sattar detailed in his correspondence that a high-ranking figure within the security forces had exerted pressure on him to halt his examination of the surveillance activities in the ongoing audio leak investigation.

Despite such strong-arm tactics, Justice Sattar declares he remained firm: “These attempts at intimidation did not deter me… I refused to believe these actions could inflict serious damage on the administration of justice.”

Justice Sattar indicated that the ulterior motive behind the harassment in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) associated cases seemed to be coercion designed to sway courtroom outcomes.

The court has been proactive in the audio leaks affair, summoning various secret services, governmental departments, regulatory authorities, including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), PTA, and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

On the day Justice Sattar’s note to Chief Justice Farooq arose, Pakistan’s Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan delivered an unexpected statement to the press, denying any governmental or institutional meddling in judicial concerns.

Related Reading: Attorney General Rejects Claims of Judicial Interference

“To my knowledge, no official from any security agency has, or is allowed to, reach out to any judiciary member. Any communications that did occur were conducted through the Attorney General’s office for the protection of sensitive information,” AGP Awan clarified.

This came as the IHC began considering two contempt cases centered around the defamation of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani via social media and the exposure of private information about Justice Babar Sattar.

In March, a team of six Islamabad High Court judges approached the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking insight on alleged overreach by executive bodies and intelligence agencies into legal affairs.

The group — comprised of 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 an earnest letter to the SJC, chaired by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, voicing their anxieties about the intrusion by spying agencies within judicial processes.

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