Justice Isa challenges presidential reference in SC

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa challenged the presidential reference against him in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Justice Isa personally went to the institution bench of the SC to file a constitution petition under Article 183 (3) of the Constitution.

It is likely that the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) will now also move a constitution petition against the reference in the apex court.

The reference is being challenged on the basis of mala fide intentions.

In May, President Arif Alvi authorised the filing of references with the SJC against Justice Isa and Sindh High Court’s Justice KK Agha for allegedly not disclosing their foreign properties in their wealth statements.

Consequently, Justice Isa had written a letter to President Alvi seeking clarity regarding the reports that the government had filed a reference against him over allegations of misconduct. Copies of the letter were sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the apex court as well.

Renowned lawyer Munir A Malik is the leading counsel for Justice Isa. Likewise, PBC’s three members – Rasheed A Rizvi, Akhtar Hussain and Kamran Murtaza – have proposed a resolution to challenge the presidential reference and have forwarded it to all 22 members for obtaining their consent. It is learnt that 15 members have endorsed the proposal.

Only two members, who are associated with the Hamid Khan Group, have opposed moving the petition in the apex court.

On the other hand, legal experts believe that there is a lesser chance of the Supreme Judicial Council concluding its proceedings in the Justice Isa case before the retirement of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on August 28.

They believe that Justice Saeed may avoid concluding the SJC proceedings before his retirement.

Earlier, Justice Isa personally submitted his replies in the SJC against two show-cause notices regarding the non-disclosure of family’s foreign properties in his wealth statements and writing letters to the president.

Justice Isa submitted both the replies in the late hours of July 31 as the 14-day deadline ended at 12pm.

He had moved an application in the SJC, requesting furnishing of relevant material on the basis of which the reference was filed against him.

The judge had also requested for extending time for filing the replies against the show-cause notices after going through the material.

However, it is learnt that the SJC did not entertain his application, saying that the SJC members were not available in Islamabad and that the plea could not be considered in a short period of time.

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