Before concluding his term, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Umar Ata Bandial, called Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, a fellow judge of the Supreme Court, to address complaints against apex court judges.
In the following act, Justice Masood drafted a letter addressed to then-CJP Bandial expressing his reservations. He emphasized that the call was out of place and recommended that such complaints be directed to the Supreme Judicial Council. He intended to avoid potential claims of trying to gain undue advantages from the sitting Chief Justice.
The Underlying Offer
The conversation on September 5, 2023, reportedly took a tense turn. Justice Bandial allegedly suggested a deal during the call: If Justice Masood helped resolve a complaint against another judge, his issue would be settled.
Dismayed by the inappropriate approach, Justice Masood, the following day, sent a formal letter to Justice Bandial, putting forth his concerns. He shared the correspondence with members of the Supreme Judicial Council, reinforcing his desire for the proper channel to address the complaint.
The September 6 letter plainly communicated Justice Masood’s discomfort about the call and his trust in the Council’s ability to handle the complaint fairly.
While Justice Masood’s letter has been widely circulated among key judicial figures, efforts to extract comments from the former CJP have remained unanswered.