Wednesday May 18 2022

SC takes suo motu notice of 'persons in authority' undermining criminal justice system

A general view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 3, 2022. — Reuters
A general view of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 3, 2022. — Reuters

  • SC says such actions can undermine functioning of criminal justice system.
  • CJP Bandial takes notice of matter on recommendation from SC judge.
  • CJP fixes matter for hearing tomorrow; five-member bench to hear case.

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial Wednesday took a suo motu notice on the perceived apprehension of "persons in authority" undermining the criminal justice system.

In a press release, the apex court said the CJP took the notice of perceived interference in the "independence of the prosecution branch in the performance of its powers and duties for the investigation and prosecution of pending criminal matters involving persons in authority in the government".

The chief justice took notice of the perceived interference on the recommendations of a judge belonging to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the statement said.

The court, expressing worries, said that such perceived interferences may influence the prosecution of cases, tampering, disappearing of evidence in courts or in possession of prosecuting agencies, and transfer and postings of officers on key posts.

"Such actions, along with media reports to modify accountability laws, are likely to undermine the functioning of the criminal justice system in the country and that tantamounts to violation of fundamental rights affecting the society as a whole and eroding the confidence of the people in the rule of law and constitutionalism in the country," the statement said.

Taking notice of the matter, the chief justice has fixed the matter for tomorrow at 1pm before a five-member larger bench to be headed by himself. The SC did not disclose the names of the members.