Not appropriate for bench to hear petitions, commission tells SC.

The Supreme Court of PakiAstan Wednesday adjourned hearing of a petition filed against the judicial commisAsion probing the veracity of recent audio leaks till next week. A five-member larger bench comprising Chief JusAtice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed heard the case. During the course of proceedings, the judicial commission led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa submitted a concise statement through commission secretary HafeAezullah Khajjak and objected to the five-member bench.

The response stated that one of the alleged audio leaks concerned the chief justice's mother-in-law and Justice Akhtar was also mentioned during the conversation. The commission stated that it would not be appropriate for the bench to hear the peAtitions as the SC judges were required to not allow their personal interest to influence their official conduct or offiAcial decisions.

One of the petitioners AdAvocate Riaz Hanif Rahi said he wanted to file a contempt of court petition. The chief justice observed that all the petitions would be clubbed and included in the case.

He said the court would first hear Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan's arguments against the five-judge bench. No decision was taken on the objections to the bench at the previous hearing, he added. He said the court was directing the registrar to allot a number to the AGP's plea and directed Awan to provide copies of his petition to all the respondents. He said the government's petition had included some words that should not have been there.

Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, counsel for Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Shahid ZuAberi, said the association had always defended the apex court in talk shows but the judicial commission had statAed that 'we speak against the judiciary during talk shows'.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the audio leaks inquiry commission...

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