Does law allow surveillance, secret recordings of citizens?’ asks IHC

IHC bars PM Imran from releasing classified documents

ISLAMABAD: A day after Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked the government to inform it about the elements responsible for recording audios, Justice Babar Sattar issued a notice to the Secretary of the National Assembly raising a number of questions, including whether the law permitted the surveillance and secret recordings of citizens.

The seven-page long order sheet was issued by Justice Babar in response to a petition filed by Najam Saqib, son of ex-CJP Nisar, against a special committee formed by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to probe audio clips allegedly featuring his voice.

Najam, in his plea, had submitted that the proceedings of the Aslam Bhootani-led NA special committee be stopped.

Subsequently, the IHC stayed with the NA committee, demanding, instead, to know the “elements” behind the leaks.

Now, in its detailed order, the federal capital’s top court has asked the NA to answer five questions pertaining to the matter. These questions range from parliament’s authority to inquire into acts of private citizens to which agency is permitted to record calls of private citizens.

The order also asks the NA secretary to inform the court, which public authority or agency will be held liable for such surveillance if it is discovered that there were no legal grounds for such recording.