IHC judges’ letter: Justice Yahya Afridi recuses himself from suo motu case

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ISLAMABAD: Justice Yahya Afridi has recused himself from the suo motu case taken up by the Supreme Court in the wake of letter written by Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges citing complaints of interference in judicial affairs by intelligence agencies.

Justice Afridi, who was part of the seven-member bench hearing the case, mentioned his recusal in a note with the written order issued following the first hearing.

Citing his reason for the recusal, the judge maintained that the matters raised in the IHC judges’ letter should be viewed in accordance with the Supreme Judicial Council’s code of conduct.

“High Courts are independent courts under the Constitution. Article 184/3 should not be invoked on independence of high courts,” Justice Yahya maintained.

The seven-member bench conducting the hearing of suo motu case is headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprised six other judges — Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan.

During the first hearing of the matter on April 3, the country’s top judge said the SC will not tolerate any interference in judicial affairs and is taking the letter by Islamabad High Court judges “very seriously”.

Justice Yahya, in his note, maintained that the suo motu notice was taken by the apex court in “good faith”, however, it may harm the independence of high courts and their chief justices.