ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday sought a report from the DG Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and other authorities concerned on how an audio of an alleged conversation between Imran Khan’s wife and her lawyer Latif Khosa, was leaked online.
A single member IHC bench comprising Justice Babar Sattar heard the petition filed by Imran’s spouse Bushra Bibi though senior lawyer Sardar latif Khosa, seeking action against those behind leaking the conversation.
The judge also directed the FIA to carry out a forensic examination of the conversation, emphasizing the need for investigation into origin of the audio.
He further stated a copy of the court order must also be sent to the ISI director general and added that the ISI DG must also submit a report as to who released the audio.
The court issued notices to the FIA, Pemra, and the PTA, with the judge asking Pemra: “The Pemra must tell [us] as to how private conversations between people are being aired on TV channels.”
The court also sought reports from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) on the issue.
The plea cited the principal secretary to the prime minister and secretaries of defence and interior as respondents. The petitioner stated the audio was broadcast on the media out of context, contending the PTA had stated before the court that recording of private conversation was prohibited.
In a clip surfaced on social media, a voice purported to be of Bushra Bibi tells her lawyer that Imran’s sisters were not happy with her for hiring him.
As per the clip, Bibi told her sisters-in-law that she will hand all cases, which were being delayed, to Khosa. She also purportedly said that Imran’s sister had claimed that Khosa misbehaved with her.
The voice suggested to belong to the former first lady also shared that Imran’s sisters were also not happy with her statement in which she expressed apprehension that the PTI chairman could be poisoned in jail.
During the conversation, Khosa said he did not misbehave with the sisters and only told them that they should let him fight the case without interference.
As the hearing started, Justice Babar Sattar asked about objections to the petition, to which Latif Khosa responded: “An objection has been raised for the petitioner to file a separate petition.”
He argued that a co-petition could also be filed to remove the objection. Subsequently, the judge removed the objections from the petition.
The petitioner counsel went to emphasize the “privileged” nature of a conversation between a client and lawyer. In response, the judge quipped “you must know that the big boss is listening to everything”, eliciting laughter in the courtroom.
Justice Sattar inquired about the recorder of conversations, to which Khosa replied: “Everyone knows who records conversations.”
The judge responded: “We cannot proceed on hearsay.”
Khosa said it was an issue for lawyers across the country, not just his.
“How can the justice system function if a lawyer cannot speak to his client freely?” Khosa questioned.
The judge inquired about the audio’s release on social media, and Bibi’s counsel responded, stating that the audio had been broadcast by nearly all TV channels.
Justice Sattar further asked: “Did it initially surface on Twitter [now X] or somewhere else?”
He mentioned that identifying the origin of the audio leak could assist in determining who recorded the conversation.
Khosa added that people avoid speaking to him, citing, “My phone is insecure.”
Later, the court adjourned the hearing until December 11.