Cheif Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial Friday ordered to make public the audio recording of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) meeting – held on Thursday- after two senior judges and JCP members rejected a statement issued by the Supreme Court about the proceedings and outcome of the meeting, a private TV channel reported. Justice Faez Isa rejected the statment soon after it was issued on Thursday. Following Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s letter to the JCP, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood said on Friday that the press release issued by the public relations officer (PRO) of the Supreme Court at the Judicial Commission of Pakistan’s (JCP) meeting presented a “totally different version of events from what actually occurred”. In a letter written to the JCP members, Justice Masood shared the events that transpired during the meeting held for the approval of the judges’ elevation to the apex court. The SC statement had claimed that the JCP meeting for the elevation of five high court judges to the Supreme Court was deferred on Thursday while Justice Isa and Justice Masood maintained that the meeting had rejected the names proposed by CJP Bandial. Justice Tariq Masood said that the statement issued by the SC spokesperson was contrary to the facts. He said that the SC spokesperson was neither a member of the Judicial Commission nor its secretary. He said that the SC statement claimed that the meeting was deferred but in fact, the meeting rejected all five names by a 4-5 vote. The judge called for making the minutes of the JCP meeting public to put the speculations at rest. The judge said that when the meeting started, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial described the credentials of his nominees. After that, he requested Justice (retd) Sarmad Jalal Osmany, a member of the commission, to present his views. According to Justice Masood, members “endorsed four nominees and disapproved the nomination of Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto”. “Thereafter, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan fully endorsed all the judges nominated by the Hon’ble Chairman (CJP) for their appointment as judges of the Supreme Court,” said Justice Masood. After their approvals, it was Justice Masood’s turn, during which he discussed the seniority principle and also recommended that Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court be considered. “I did not approve three nominated judges of the High Court of Sindh and one judge of the Lahore High Court and requested to defer the nomination of the judge of the Peshawar High Court. The Hon’ble Law Minister, learned Attorney-General for Pakistan and Hon’ble Member of Pakistan Bar Council/ Member of the Commission agreed with my recommendations and dis-approved three nominee judges of the High Court of Sindh and one of the Lahore High Court,” said Justice Masood. The judge then shared, that when Justice Qazi Faez Isa expressed his agreement with him and was in the middle of giving his reasons for disapproval, it became clear that five members of the Commission disapproved of the names of four nominees judges. “when at that juncture un-precedently, undemocratically and without dictating his decision of the commission and formally ending the meeting, abruptly the Hon’ble Chairman(CJP) stood up followed by Mr Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and left the meeting room by uttering the word ‘adjourned’,” said Justice Masood. He added that the press release was of the Supreme Court was “contrary to the facts, as no one during almost three hours long meeting, proposed to postpone the meeting”. “The meeting was ended abruptly as mentioned above when it was clear that nominations have been rejected by a majority of five/four of nine members of the commission and it was wrongly mentioned in the press release that four members of the commission have requested for postponement of the meeting. Had there been any such situation then there was no occasion by the members for giving their comments qua approval or disapproval of the nominations,” said Justice Masood. Shortly after the reaction from Justice Masood, a press release was issued by the Supreme Court stating the CJP had ordered releasing the audio recording of the meeting on Supreme Court of Pakistan website. The press release referred to the fact that Justice Isa and Justice Masood had “disputed” the earlier statement issued on Thursday. The latest release said that earlier statement was issued on the instructions of CJP Bandial who is also the chairman of JCP. It said that the audio recording from the time slot 1:29:48 to 1:38:08 “contains the statement by the worthy Attorney General of Pakistan that the matter under discussion should be deferred to frame the appropriate rules.” “He did not asses or reject the merits of any of the High Court judges proposed for appointment to the SCP,” it added. “As a result, 5 members of the JCP supported deferment of the meeting as reported in the Press Note of 28.7.2022.” The statement included a hyper link to an audio file on the Supreme Court website.