Khawaja Asif asks CJP to 'recuse himself' from hearing audio leaks case.

ISLAMABAD -- Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday has asked Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to "distance himself from hearing the audio leaks case to ensure that true justice is served to the aggrieved.

He was referring to a five-member bench order of the apex court, headed by the chief justice, which stayed the proceedings on various petitions challenging the constitution of the judicial commission formed by the federal government, tasked to inquire about the veracity of audio leaks allegedly involving the SC judge and a relative of the top judge.

The commission was headed by the most senior judge of the SC after the CJP, Justice Qazi Faez Isa. It also compromised of Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

Addressing the floor of the House of National Assembly, the defence minister expressed his opinion on the 'wedge between the judiciary and the parliament' continuing for more than a year, creating political unrest in the country.

The minister recalled that former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's son was involved in a legal battle with Real Estate Tycoon Malik Riaz. He said the former chief justice recused himself from the case due to the conflict of interest. The minister regretted that such norms and precedents had been "abandoned by few judges of the apex court".

'If the former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry can recuse himself then why can't the incumbent chief justice follow the same precedent to stop influencing the justice [proceedings]in audio leaks case,' he viewed.

He reiterated the government had only intended by constituting the judicial commission, which included the members of the judiciary, to ensure transparency in court's proceedings.


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