The caretaker government has informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that a legal mechanism for recording citizens’ telephone conversations is in place.
Recording of Citizens Calls
However, it avoids involvement in sensitive day-to-day operations and critical functions of intelligence agencies in the national interest on purpose.
During the hearing of the audio leak case, the caretaker principal secretary to the PM, Dr Syed Tauqir Shah, submitted a written response on behalf of the government to the questions posed by the IHC, according to a national daily.
Agencies Are Working Within The Boundaries of Law
In its response, the government emphasized the PM’s expectation that intelligence agencies operate within the bounds of the constitution and the law.
In response to another question, Dr. Tauqir Shah refused to reveal any information about the intelligence agency that has the technological capability of recording and monitor communications.
He contended that discussing operational details and the inner workings of intelligence agencies would be detrimental to national security.
Fair Trial Act 2013
In addition, the written response mentioned the Investigation for Fair Trial Act 2013, which provides a framework for granting permission of recording citizens’ phone calls.
It also emphasized the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of such recordings and preventing their leak.
Telegraph Act of 1885
Furthermore, the Telegraph Act of 1885 establishes a procedure for obtaining licensed telegraphs and intercepting messages.
It should be noted, however, that this cannot be done without the permission of the federal or provincial governments.
The secretary informed the IHC that a high-level inquiry commission had been formed to determine who was responsible for the audio leaks.
The commission, comprised of senior judges, has been tasked with investigating the veracity of the leaked conversations.
It is worth noting that the wife of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the son of former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had petitioned the court against the summons issued by the Federal Investigation Agency and a parliamentary committee in connection with the audio leaks.
To read our blog on “Hackers supposedly responsible for PM office audio leaks arrested,” click here.