Monday Jun 01, 2020
Law Minister Farogh Naseem resigned from his position to represent the federal government in an important case, Geo News reported on Monday.
Naseem will represent the government in the references filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. His resignation has been accepted by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a statement, Naseem said on the request of PM Imran, he had presented himself to appear as counsel in the presidential reference against Justice Isa.
A ten-member full court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial will resume hearing the case on Tuesday. “I will represent the federation in the case and therefore I have tendered my resignation as the law minister”, Naseem said, adding that he had great respect for the judges and the judiciary.
“As law minister, I always made decisions under the guidance of the Holy Quran, the Hadith, the Constitution of Pakistan and the law, and I have never done anything contrary to the rule of law”, he said.
Naseem said he had no personal vendetta with any person, judge, bar council or a lawyer not even with Justice Isa. “I will appear in the court only as a lawyer to assist the court”, he said.
In February this year, the Supreme Court (SC) had directed the federal government to explain in court whether the Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) was empowered to conduct an inquiry against a sitting judge of the apex court.
The results of the inquiry, later placed before President Arif Alvi, had resulted in a presidential reference filed against Justice Isa back in May 2019. Justice Isa had been accused of failing to disclose assets belonging to his wife and children in his tax returns.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had taken up the case, but petitions had also been filed in the top court against the reference by numerous parties, including the Pakistan Bar Council. A bench of the top court had later been constituted to conduct hearings into these petitions.
The bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, comprised of Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Amin Ahmed.
Last year, Naseem had resigned to fight Chief Of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa's case since he could not argue as the federal law minister.
Justice Isa had written letters to President Alvi after the law minister instituted a presidential reference against him for allegedly possessing properties in the United Kingdom in the name of wife and children.
In the second reference, Advocate Waheed Shahzad Butt had contended that by repeatedly writing letters "instead of explaining the sources of funds for such acquisition of properties", Justice Isa had violated the code of conduct for judges of the superior courts.
Advocate Butt had also alleged that the letters were leaked to the media to generate unnecessary public controversy, that the language used in the letters was offensive, that the judge had unduly targeted the Prime Minister and leveled unsubstantiated allegations against President Alvi and other federal cabinet members.