Six sitting judges in Pakistan have accused the country’s intelligence agency of interfering in judicial affairs by intimidating judges, abducting at least one their relatives and surveilling the insides of their homes, Dawn reported.

The Inter-Services Intelligence gathers and analyses data that is relevant to Pakistan’s national security.

On March 25, the judges from the Islamabad High Court wrote a letter to the members of the Supreme Judicial Council, including Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, Supreme Court judges and chief justices of the Islamabad and Peshawar High Courts. They had asked if there exists a “policy on the part of the executive... implemented by intelligence operatives” to intimidate judges.

The Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan is the highest authorised judicial body to hear complaints from and take action against judges of the country’s High Courts and Supreme Court.

The six judges – Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz – recounted seven instances of alleged intimidation by the country’s intelligence officials to “influence the outcome of cases of interest”.

The letter revealed that two of the three judges, who were hearing a plea to disqualify former Prime Minister Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter, were pressured by “operatives of the ISI” through friends and relatives.

The episode left one of the judges so stressed that he had to be admitted to hospital, the letter said.

The matter was taken up with the Inter-Services Intelligence leadership, who said that the intelligence officials would not approach the judges.

Despite the assurance, however, “the interference on the part of intelligence operatives” continued. Instead of addressing the complaints, the judges were victimised, the letter said.

In another alleged instance, a brother-in-law of one of the judges was abducted by men who claimed to be operatives of the intelligence agency, the letter added.

The victim was allegedly “given electric shocks” and forced to record a video making allegations against the judge, it added.

In another instance, a judge of the High Court found that his home had been bugged with spy cameras that recorded “pr­i­vate videos of the judge and his family members”.

“There has been no determination of who installed the equipment and who is to be held accountable”, the letter added.

The letter claimed that district judges have also been intimidated by the officials of the intelligence agency.

The letter urged the Supreme Judicial Council to hold a judicial convention on the matter and determine a course of action that judges could take “when they find themselves at the receiving end”.