Supreme Court Senior Puisne Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa has landed in hot waters for attending the special National Assembly Session on the Golden Jubilee of the 1973 Constitution.
According to the details, Pervaiz Abid Haral, president of the Gujranwala Bar Association on Tuesday filed a complaint against Justice Qazi Faez in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) seeking removal of Justice Isa for allegedly committing gross misconduct by visiting the “den of most corrupt, money launderer and tax evaders mafia of Pakistan”.
The complaint filed against the senior judge stated that by choosing a public forum for voicing his personal and subjective views and opinions Justice Faez Isa had denounced the judiciary as a whole.
Furthermore, the complainant also alleged that Justice Isa continued to write different letters regarding state institutions and personalities and released them to the media.
Read more: Justice Qazi Faez Isa spotted in parliament
By doing this Justice Qazi Faez Isa has violated various Articles of the Code of Conduct issued by the SJC under the mandate of Article 209(8) of the Constitution.
Justice Isa, who is known for his strong stance on judicial independence and has been vocal about upholding the rule of law, attended the NA session at the invitation of the NA Speaker to celebrate the Constitution’s golden jubilee.
However, his attendance at the NA session has resulted in intense backlash from legal experts, politicians, and the public. Pertinent to mention that Justice Isa’s attendance at the NA session comes at a time when the judiciary’s independence and integrity are being closely scrutinized in Pakistan.
His critics were of the view that his participation in the NA session undermines the independence of the judiciary and creates a perception of bias, as judges are expected to refrain from engaging in partisan activities or expressing personal opinions on matters that may come before the court.
The criticism intensified after videos and pictures of Justice Faez Isa went viral on social media showing him sitting through the fiery speeches of political leaders who have been accused of corruption, for instance, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
This single click defines justice Faez Isa “A man is known by the company he keeps” this shall haunt him forever! pic.twitter.com/nqqLDhQcoC
— Waqar Malik (@RealWaqarMaliks) April 10, 2023
Interestingly, Justice Faez Isa later issued a clarification saying the golden jubilee was an occasion for all citizens to celebrate, not just for a particular political party or an institution. Referring to the controversy over the golden jubilee celebrations, Justice Isa explained that all SC judges were invited to celebrate the golden jubilee.
In a single-page clarification issued both in English and Urdu, Justice Isa explained that prior to accepting the invitation, inquiries were made as to whether there would be political speeches, and assurances were extended that only the Constitution and its making would be spoken about.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa justifies his presence in National Assembly's hall at the Golden Jubilee of 1973 constitution. pic.twitter.com/f2aP6XoCv9
— Hasnaat Malik (@HasnaatMalik) April 11, 2023
Justice Faez Isa also clarified that he had declined to make any speeches, however, when political statements were made, in a few speeches, he requested to speak to correct any misconceptions that may arise, and he did so.
Read more: Justice Faez Isa’s case exposes the biasness of Pakistan’s higher courts