Lahore HC Directs PMO to Restrict Contact with Judges

Lahore High Court

The Lahore High Court has directed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to issue instructions to all civil and military agencies, including Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to refrain from contacting or approaching “any judge” or member of their staff, according to sources.

Justice Shahid Karim issued the directions following a complaint from an anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge in Sargodha, who reported harassment after allegedly refusing to meet officials from an intelligence agency, as reported by a Pakistan daily citing a High Court order.

Karim stated, “Instructions shall be issued by the Prime Minister’s Office to all civil and military agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to strictly avoid contacting or approaching any judge, whether from the superior judiciary, subordinate judiciary, or any member of their staff in the future.”

Similar directions were issued for the Punjab police, instructing them to implement security measures for ATCs across Punjab and to download call-recording applications on their mobile phones. “[They] shall be required to record all calls they receive that judges suspect may be attempts to influence judicial proceedings,” Karim said.

The complaint from the Sargodha ATC judge related to an incident on June 7, his first day as in charge, when he was informed that “some authority of ISI” wanted to meet him in his chamber. After the judge denied the request, he and his family experienced harassment, including damage to his gas meter and a manipulated electricity bill, as reported.

Earlier, on May 7, Pakistan’s apex court justice, Jamal Khan Mandokhail, criticized the government for not addressing alleged interference in judicial matters.

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