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CJP Bandial releases JCP meeting audio after two judges rejected SC statement

ISLAMABAD: Cheif Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Friday ordered to release the audio recording of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meeting, held on Thursday, after two senior judges and JCP members rejected a statement issued by the Supreme Court about the proceedings and outcome of the meeting.

Justice Faez Isa rejected the statement soon after it was issued on Thursday while Justice Sardar Tariq Masood reacted to it on Friday, saying the statement issued by the SC spokesperson was contrary to the facts. He said that the SC spokesperson was neither a member of the Judicial Commission nor its secretary. Justice Masood further said that the SC statement claimed that the meeting was deferred but in fact, the meeting rejected all five names by a 4-5 vote.

It should be noted that the SC statement had claimed that the JCP meeting for the elevation of five high court judges to the Supreme Court was deferred on Thursday while Justice Isa and Justice Masood maintained that the meeting had rejected the names proposed by CJP Bandial.

The Supreme Court officials promptly acted to counter such claims. A statement titled “Press Note” and undersigned by the “public relations officer” of the Supreme Court maintained that the JCP meeting was deferred to allow the chief justice “to place additional information and data about those already proposed and if he considers appropriate, add more names to the list of proposes for consideration by the JCP.”

Shortly after the reaction from Justice Masood, a press release was issued by the Supreme Court stating the CJP had ordered releasing the audio recording of the meeting on Supreme Court of Pakistan website.

The latest release said that earlier statement was issued on the instructions of CJP Bandial who is also the chairman of JCP.

It said that the audio recording from the time slot 1:29:48 to 1:38:08 “contains the statement by the worthy Attorney General of Pakistan that the matter under discussion should be deferred to frame the appropriate rules.”

“He did not asses or reject the merits of any of the High Court judges proposed for appointment to the SCP,” it added.

“As a result, 5 members of the JCP supported deferment of the meeting as reported in the Press Note of 28.7.2022.”

The JCP is the forum that appoints judges to the SC, it comprises of the chief justice, four senior Supreme Court judges, and one retired judge, the federal law minister, the attorney general of Pakistan, and a representative of the Pakistan Bar Council.

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