ISLAMABAD, May 31: The special parliamentary committee formed by the National Assembly speaker to probe into audio clips involving the son of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was stopped from proceeding any further on Wednesday by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The court also suspended the audio leaks commission probing the matter.
A day earlier former CJP Nisar’s son, Najam Saqib, had approached the high court challenging the formation of the committee as illegal.
Previously, a couple of audio clips allegedly featuring the voice of Najam Saqib appeared on April 29.
In one of the clips, Najam could be heard telling a politician, Abuzar Chadar, that his father, Nisar, had “worked really hard” to get Chadar a ticket for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. In the second audio, Najam allegedly tells one Mian Aziz how much money he expects in return for the party ticket.
On May 2, the NA passed a motion demanding the formation of a special parliamentary committee to investigate the audios and on May 3, NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf constituted the committee.
After an in-camera meeting of the committee, its chairman Aslam Bhootani on May 24 told the media that the committee had summoned to its next meeting former CJP Nisar, his son Najam as well as Mian Aziz and Abuzar Chadar in connection with its probe into the leaked audios.
In the petition filed yesterday, Najam requested the court to suspend the proceedings of the committee and stop it from taking any punitive action.
He contended that the alleged audios represent a breach of his privacy and his illegal surveillance. He requested the court to declare that recording a private person’s personal conversation is a violation of basic human rights.
Today, Justice Babar Sattar removed the objections of the registrar’s office on the application.
Najam’s counsel Advocate Latif Khosa told the court that they had only challenged “the Speaker and the Assembly’s authority to look into private matters”.
“We have not challenged the matter which is pending in the Supreme Court,” he said, stressing that “the audio leak is an alleged conversation between two private individuals that the parliament is not authorised to look into”.
After hearing the initial arguments today, the IHC restrained the committee from setting up its investigation and suspended the notice issued by the special committee to Najam.
The court also issued notices to the federal government and other respondents for June 19 and inquired “who records these audios”.
The court has also questioned under which powers the special committee took notice of the audio leak.