Monday Apr 26 2021

SC accepts review petitions challenging verdict on presidential reference against Justice Isa

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted several review petitions filed against an apex court verdict on the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

A 10-member full court bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, wrapped up the case and issued a short order on Monday setting aside a June 19, 2020 judgment on the matter and nullifying all proceedings that came as a result of it. 

A detailed verdict will follow later.

Multiple review petitions challenging the earlier verdict were accepted by a majority vote of 6-4. However, the individual petition filed by Justice Qazi Faiz Isa himself (Civil Review Petition No.296 of 2020 titled Justice Qazi Faez Isa vs The President of Pakistan & others) was approved by five judges and dismissed by the other five members of the bench.

The Supreme Court judge, his wife and others had challenged the apex court’s order on the presidential reference seeking the removal of Justice Isa for failing to disclose foreign properties of his family members. 

Justices Bandial, Sajjad Ali Shah, Munib Akhtar and Qazi Amin dissented from the decision.

After completion of the hearing, Justice Bandial, in his remarks, had said that the bench needed time for consultation.

The presidential reference

The SC had on June 19 last year dismissed the presidential reference against Justice Isa in the Supreme Judicial Council and accepted his petition seeking the reference's dismissal.

"[The reference] is declared to be of no legal effect whatsoever and stands quashed, and in consequence, thereof the proceedings pending in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the Petitioner in CP 17/2019 (including the show-cause notice dated 17.07.2019 issued to him) stand abated," read the court's short order.

However, it had authorised the Federal Board of Revenue to probe the matter further and compile a report of its findings after investigating Justice Isa's wife and her financial dealings.

Read more: Pakistan being destroyed in a systematic manner: Justice Qazi Faez Isa

The SJC had initiated the proceedings over Justice Isa's alleged non-disclosure in wealth returns of three London properties acquired on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015.