The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an application moved by Mansoor Ijaz, the main character behind memogate issue, seeking its direction for the Commission to record his evidences outside Pakistan.A nine-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed his counsel to place his request before the Commission as they would not intervene in its proceedings.The bench also extended period for the Commission to complete its task within further two-month accepting the application moved by the secretary of the Commission.
The bench also accepted an application of Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to USA, seeking removal of travel restrictions imposed upon him under order of December 1, 2011.
The bench observed that since in its order, they had observed that he could leave the country with permission of the Court, so a permission was sought.
Asma Jahangir, counsel for Haqqani, assured the bench to submit an undertaking stating that her client would return on 4-day notice if and when required by the Commission or the Court.
The bench in its order directed the Registrar to take into possession a letter sent by Mansoor Ijaz under caption ‘secret’ and keep it sealed.
The bench observed that at this stage, they were not considering for any purposes, not aware about its authenticity and treating it as classified as requested by the sender.
The bench noted that when a person sought confidentiality over certain things, under the laws, these were treated as confidential.
However, the bench noted in its order that it would be appreciated if the letter could have come through the counsel.
At the outset of proceedings, Attorney General Molvi Anwar ul Haq recounted the judicial proceedings conducted by the Commission so far.
The Chief Justice observed that the Commission was recording the primary evidence and it could record the second evidence after considering the affidavits and counter-affidavits.
He said that they had made in its order that the Commission was being constituted for ascertaining the origin, authenticity and purpose.
The Attorney general objected to the insertion of reference in the order about second recording under the Qanoon e Shahadat Act by saying that it would prejudice many things against the parties.
To Akram Sheikh’s request about recording of Mansoor’s evidence outside,Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja told him that they had to exercise complete detachment for reaching at correct decision.
He said throughout the globe there were only two countries in the world including Pakistan and Hungry where through constitutions, access to information had been made an issue of public importance.
Asma Jahngir told the bench that the whole judgement was based upon transparency but a secret correspondence between the witness and bench did not speak well.
“I do not know how the witness is trying to poison the bench,” she added. She also objected to bench’s inclusion of certain observation in the order and said “Please do not micor-manage Commission’s proceedings.”
Justice Saqib Nisar agreeing with her objection said that they had to leave these things for the Commission to decide.
Asma said that her client had only provided a list of witnesses while others had failed to do so.
She said that her client had fully cooperated with the bench and would do so, and was ready to undertake that he would return to the country within four days notice whenever required by the Commission or Court.
She requested the bench to remove the bar placed upon him against leaving the country so that he could meet his family.
The Attorney general admitted that he would have no objection if Hussain Haqqani was allowed to leave the country as he was ready to submit an undertaking.
Addressing Akram Sheikh, counsel for Mansoor Ijaz, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said what you had started, now you should come to finish it.
“You have created much chaos in the country and you do not know, what else you want to create,” he added.
Barrister Zafrullah Khan, a petitioner, said that he was putting it straight that Mansoor would never come.
He also objected to power of attorney of Akram Sheikh and upon his insistence, the bench showed him the relevant documents.
However, the bench refused to accept his plea regarding summoning of statements of DG ISI and Military Intelligence.
The bench observed that they would not interfere into Commission’s proceedings.The bench issued notices to respondents on an application of Shahid Orakzai, a petitioner, regarding a decision by the government to conduct inquiry into the memo. Further hearing was adjourned till date in office.