On Friday, a new audio leak purportedly of a phone call between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry and his brother Advocate Faisal Chaudhry added fuel to the ongoing controversy involving the country’s senior judges.
The names of three judges are mentioned in the alleged conversation between Fawad and Faisal: Chief Justice Lahore High Court Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, and Supreme Court judge Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi.
A voice apparently belonging to Fawad is heard saying, “The CJ Lahore is requesting for a general [meeting] with Bandial to be arranged,” which is confirmed by a second voice purportedly belonging to Faisal on the phone call.
“As well, reach Mazahir through Mr. Dar and tell him that a packed truck is standing in your name, tell us what we should do with it, “PTI leader supposedly said before having to add that “my own personal advice is that after doing three or four outfits on Tarar, he should be given [Section] 228 there so that they come under some stress at least”.
Faisal allegedly responded by telling his brother that he would look into the situation the next day and that he would “take care of it” “After asking them,” he is said to have said.
It should be emphasized that Faisal is a well-known attorney who frequently represents PTI.
This morning, hours after the recording went popular on social media, Fawad tweeted that the footage was “another phony audio” and rejected it.
He declared, “I have nothing to do with this audio, I have never met the chief justice of Lahore, and I have not asked him to assist Justice Mazahir.
Nonetheless, the rumor mill was seen spinning on social media, which was ablaze.
The court system is under intense strain as a result of the third audio leak since February.
Pervez Elahi, the soon-to-be president of PTI, is said to have made two audio clips that are at the center of the controversy. The calls for the apex court to launch an investigation into the matter and dispel the alarming perception that the judiciary is “under the question mark” have been made since the audio clips first surfaced.
A short time later, a new audio recording purportedly depicting PTI politician Yasmin Rashid and Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar surfaced on social media. In the audio clip, a man is heard indicating that he has “his man” at the supreme court.
Top legal organizations, such as the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), have stated that they will be filing separate accusations of misconduct with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against an SC judge as a result of the audio leaks, but the top court has not yet reached a consensus on the issue.