Home South Asia Pakistan Justice Isa read entire presidential reference before writing to president: CJP Khosa

Justice Isa read entire presidential reference before writing to president: CJP Khosa

Justice Isa sat down in CJP’s office and read the entire reference and took his time in doing so. During the reading, the SJC order read, Justice Isa asked for a paper and pencil for taking notes which were personally supplied to him by the chief justice of Pakistan.

CJP Khosa

News Desk |

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has revealed that Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa had read the entire presidential reference filed against him before he wrote letters to President Arif Alvi seeking a copy of the reference. Soon after receiving the presidential reference, CJP Khosa said, he thought it fit to straightaway informally apprise Justice Isa about filing of the reference and its contents.

The top court’s top judge said that he then contacted Justice Isa on the intercom with a request to come over to his chamber which the respondent-judge was kind enough to do. The chief justice then informed the respondent-judge about the receipt of the reference from the president and asked him to read the same for his information. “The respondent-judge then sat down and read the entire reference and took his time in doing so,” The Express Tribune reported.

The council wondered why despite having direct and firsthand information in the relevant regards Justice Isa had chosen to write the relevant letters.

Regarding Justice Isa’s meeting with CJP Khosa, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)’s order giving a clean chit to Justice Isa in one of the two references stated that it was unfortunate that Justice Isa had found it appropriate not only to refer to a private meeting with the chief justice but also to a private conversation taking place in that meeting without even seeking the permission of the other participant of such a meeting and conversation.

Read more: SJC clears Justice Isa over writing letters to president

“It is also quite unfortunate that the respondent-judge has been selective in his references to the meeting and the conversation taking place therein. The chief justice has the highest personal and professional regard for the respondent-judge but for the sake of the record only, and for completing the picture left by the respondent-judge unfinished.”

The order stated that CJP Khosa had shared with the SJC members the details of the relevant meeting and the conversation taking place between them.

CJP Khosa handed over paper & pencil to Justice Isa for taking notes from reference

During the reading, the order read, Justice Isa asked for a paper and pencil for taking notes which were personally supplied to him by the chief justice.

Soon after receiving the presidential reference, CJP Khosa said, he thought it fit to straightaway informally apprise Justice Isa about filing of the reference and its contents.

After reading the reference and taking notes, the paper reported, the respondent-judge [Justice Isa] said that he wanted to write to the president asking for a copy of the reference to which the chief justice responded by saying that under the Constitution the president could require the council to inquire into the conduct of a judge but he was not obliged to provide a copy of the reference to the concerned judge.

The respondent-judge then requested the chief justice to provide him a copy of the reference but the CJP told him that it was not for the chief justice but for the council to provide a copy of the reference to the concerned-judge if and when the council felt persuaded to proceed against him.

Read more: New charge against Justice Isa: “insinuations against state institutions”

At this, the paper continued, the respondent-judge expressed his determination to write to the president on the subject and asked the chief justice whether such a letter should be routed through the chief justice or the Supreme Court or should it be written directly to the president to which the chief justice said that he had never written such letters and; therefore, he was not in any position to advise the respondent-judge in that regard. The chief justice added that writing of such a letter might unnecessarily complicate things.

“The details of the meeting taking place between the chief justice and the respondent-judge and of the conversation taking place in that meeting would not have been shared by the chief justice with the members of this council if the respondent-judge had not referred to such meeting or conversation in his interim reply to the show-cause notice, and that too selectively,” stated the SJC order.

During the reading, the order read, Justice Isa asked for a paper and pencil for taking notes which were personally supplied to him by the chief justice.

Why Justice Isa professed ignorance about contents of reference?

In the news report, the paper said that the council also noted that the meeting showed that Justice Isa not only knew about the filing of the reference against him by the president but also about the actual contents thereof and the allegations leveled therein before he had started writing successive letters to the president on the subject professing his ignorance about the same.

The council wondered why despite having direct and firsthand information in the relevant regards Justice Isa had chosen to write the relevant letters.

Read more: Why did Justice Isa request SJC to make his reply public?

“In the same vein dragging the prime minister and his different spouses and children into the matter through such letters was in bad taste, to say the least. An allegation of misconduct leveled against a judge could not be offset through an oblique allegation leveled by the judge against some other constitutional functionary,” the paper quoted from the order.

Justice Isa writes letter to President Alvi

As the reports regarding the filing of a reference had emerged, Justice Isa had written a letter to President Alvi, asking the president to let him know if the reports hold truth.

In May this year, Justice Isa once again approached President Alvi complaining that selective leaks to the media amount to his character assassination, thus jeopardizing his right to due process and fair trial.

SJC takes up references against Justice Isa, Justice Agha

On May 31, SJC had issued a notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan for June 14 in connection presidential references against Justice Isa and Justice Agha.

The SJC – a constitutional body tasked with scrutinizing the conduct of superior court judges – had issued the notice to AGP in order to obtain his legal assistance in deciding the maintainability of references. Later, the SJC had issued notices to the judges.

Read more: Trust judges, they will ensure justice in Justice Isa’s matter: CJP Khosa

SJC issues show-cause to Justice Isa for writing letters to Alvi

Meanwhile, SJC had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Isa for “writing letters to President Arif Alvi” after the presidential reference was filed against him. In its notice, the SJC had asked Justice Isa to explain his conduct for writing letters to the president of Pakistan. The SC judge was given 14 days to submit his reply.

The order stated that CJP Khosa had shared with the SJC members the details of the relevant meeting and the conversation taking place between them.

A Lahore-based lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt had filed the complaint against Justice Isa for violating the code of conduct for members of the judiciary by “writing letters to the president of Pakistan and sharing it with the media”.

Read more: Why did you write letters to the President? SJC issues show-cause notice to Justice Qazi Faez Isa

SJC rejects reference over writing letter to president

On August 19, the SJC has dismissed the complaint of the misconduct against Justice Isa over writing letters to the president of Pakistan and seeking a copy of the presidential reference filed against him.

In May, the federal government through President Arif Alvi had filed references against Justice Isa and Sindh High Court judge Justice K K Agha before the SJC over non-disclosure of their spouses’ foreign properties in their wealth statements. Later, Advocate Butt had filed the complaint of the misconduct against Justice Isa for writing letters to the president.

On Monday, the SJC has rejected the complaint of misconduct against Justice Isa for writing letters to President Alvi. The presidential reference against Justice Isa is still pending.

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