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Pak: Intelligence agencies banned from court premises
K J M Varma in Islamabad | July 02, 2007 23:06 IST
In an unprecedented directive, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday banned personnel of the country's intelligence agencies from entering the court's premises and stripped a government lawyer of his license for filing an objectionable document containing abusive references against judges.
"No unauthorised persons including the officials of the intelligence agencies of whatever department of the state shall enter the offices of the Supreme Court and high courts," the 13-member bench said.
The bench, hearing a petition filed by the country's suspended chief justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry challenging allegations of misconduct against him, also directed the director general of intelligence bureau to carry out a survey to find out whether the residences and phones of judges were being bugged, and ordered an immediate halt to any "bugging or tapping."
The bench, which appeared visibly infuriated over certain unattributed comments against judges describing them as "pimps" in the documents filed by the government counsel in reference of allegations against Chaudhry, stripped Advocate on Record Chaudhry Akhtar Ali of his license.
Ali defended himself by saying, "The time was too short. I was not able to read the documents."
"You took a risk to please your client and you have to face the consequence," Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday observed.
"You want to malign everybody. We will take action against them who have prepared these documents," the judge said.
Earlier, Chaudhry's lead counsel Aitzaz Ahsan pointed to the unattributed document containing objectionable remarks against the judges, and told the bench that the documents submitted by the government lawyers "is filed to scandalise the judges of the Supreme Court."
Later, government lawyer Malik Mohammed Qayyum withdrew the controversial material and tendered an unconditional apology.
The court dismissed the material as withdrawn with the cost of Rs 100,000 and the amount shall be paid to the flood victims of Balochistan. The court adjourned the hearing for Tuesday.