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CJP Isa Criticizes FIA’s Actions Against Journalist Asad Toor

CJP Isa Criticizes FIA's Actions Against Journalist Asad Toor

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa expressed dissatisfaction on Monday, stating that the Supreme Court’s name had been invoked in the case against vlogger Asad Toor, revealing inconsistencies in the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

CJP Isa made these remarks during a hearing of a suo motu case, presided over by a three-member SC bench, including himself, Justice Muhammed Ali Mazhar, and Justice Mussarat Hilali. The case concerns the harassment of journalists due to FIA’s summonses as part of the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) inquiry into the anti-judiciary campaign.

Read more: CJP Isa Reacts To FIAs Summons For Journalists

On January 17, a JIT was established by the then-caretaker government to investigate the origins of a defamatory social media campaign against SC judges following a court verdict on the election symbol of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

However, the court had intervened upon noticing FIA’s summonses to various journalists, prohibiting the agency from taking action against individuals for criticizing the apex court.

Nevertheless, FIA arrested Toor on February 26 in connection with the alleged smear campaign against the SC and the CJP, and he remains in custody.

During today’s hearing, Barrister Salahuddin Ahmed, representing the Press Association of the Supreme Court (PAS) and the Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA), informed the court that Toor is currently incarcerated.

The CJP inquired about the grounds for Toor’s detention, prompting the lawyer to cite an FIR against the journalist and petitioning the court to annul the government’s notification establishing the JIT.

CJP Isa questioned the relevance of the charges outlined in the FIR against Toor, particularly those related to sensitive information, while highlighting disparities between FIA’s notice and the FIR.

He noted that neither an SC judge nor the registrar had lodged a complaint with the FIA, expressing concern over the agency’s actions potentially damaging the judiciary’s reputation.