ISLAMABAD: Top lawyers’ bodies will file references against the sitting Supreme Court judge who is purportedly a subject in the matter of recent audio leaks.

The country’s top regulatory body of lawyers, Pakistan Bar Council, along with all provincial bar associations will submit six separate references before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on the misconduct of the judge under Article 209 of the Constitution. This was decided in a meeting, chaired by PBC Vice Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha.

The meeting was attended by Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baloch­istan and Islamabad bar councils.

Mr Pasha told the media after the meeting that it was decided with consensus to file the references before SJC on misconduct. They would be filed by next week, he said, adding that the lawyers’ bodies would chalk out their next strategy if the references were not heard by the SJC.

The lawyer said the bodies demanded that the judge should step down instead of facing proceedings before the SJC.

Mr Pasha said while the bar councils have no authority to issue show-cause notice to judges, they can summon Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Zuberi, who is one of the voices in the leaked audio clips.

Talking to Dawn, senior PBC official Akhtar Hussain said top bar councils of the country have a bearing in the matter “which cannot be avoided”.

Mr Zuberi will be given an opportunity to clarify his position, but if he failed to do so, the PBC would issue a formal notice on alleged misconduct and cancel his practice licence, Mr Pasha said.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2023

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