Supreme Court Clarifies Exception to Body Searches for Judges and Their Spouses at Airports

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has addressed concerns regarding the physical search of judges and their spouses at airports, issuing a directive to the Aviation Division and the Airport Security Force for clarification.

According to a letter released by the Registrar, the question raised was why the wives of serving judges were exempted from body searches while the spouses of retired judges were not. The Registrar pointed out a discrepancy, stating that the Supreme Court had not established a rule of exemption nor had it demanded any exception. Instead, the Registrar’s office issued a letter to Aviation Division for clarification, emphasizing the need to bring forth the truth.

The letter, dated September 21, aimed to resolve the confusion and underscored that the Supreme Court had not instituted a rule on exceptions. The Registrar highlighted a paradox where the families of retired judges were exempted from body searches, but the wives of serving judges were not afforded the same privilege.

Surprisingly, the letter, dated 66 days ago, revealed Chief Justice of Pakistan’s visit to Turkey along with his wife. Despite this, the Supreme Court did not receive any communication seeking an exception to body searches.

The statement clarified that Ms. Sareena Essa, the wife of Chief Justice, underwent a physical search on December 16 before her international departure. The verification of this body search could be confirmed through video recordings of the installed cameras. It was explicitly mentioned that she neither requested nor was granted any exception.

The Supreme Court ruled that judges and their spouses across all airports in the country are exempt from physical searches. Chief Justice’s denial of the use of VIP lounges and luxury limousines was highlighted. It’s worth noting that the Airport Security Force issued a directive recently, exempting judges and their spouses from body searches at airports nationwide, in accordance with the Aviation Division’s instructions.

This move comes amid increasing scrutiny and directives regarding the security procedures at airports, emphasizing the need for transparency and adherence to established protocols.