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Pakistan cabinet approves commission to probe allegations of interference of intelligence agencies in judiciary

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Islamabad, Mar 30 (PTI) Pakistan's cabinet on Saturday approved the constitution of an inquiry commission led by a former Supreme Court chief justice to probe the allegations of high court judges about the interference of intelligence agencies in their work.

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The one-member commission headed by former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani would hold an inquiry into the allegations levelled by the judges through a letter and submit its report in 60 days, Geo News reported citing sources.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges — Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Saman Fafat Imtiaz — on March 26 had sent the letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), urging it to convene a judicial convention over the alleged interference of intelligence agencies in judicial affairs.

Responding to the letter, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa had on March 28 during a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Supreme Court said that meddling by the executive in the affairs and “judicial workings of Judges will not be tolerated” come what may.

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The Chief Justice and Prime Minister Sharif had agreed in the meeting to form an inquiry commission.

On Saturday, the sources said officials of bureaucracy and other irrelevant persons were requested to leave the room when the matter of the letter came under discussion in the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet members gave the right to appoint the commission’s head to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while expressing full support to whoever he appointed.

Jillani, 74, retired as the top judge on July 10, 2014, after serving for more than 10 years as a Supreme Court judge, including a brief tenure as the CJP.

The March 26 judges’ letter came days after the top court declared the removal of former IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui illegal, directing that he may now be considered as a retired judge. PTI SH NPK NPK NPK

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