Home South Asia Pakistan PBC asks CJP not to hear presidential reference against Justice Isa

PBC asks CJP not to hear presidential reference against Justice Isa

In the petition, PBC has maintained that the “references are primarily motivated by his authorship of the Inter alia Faizabad judgment and others which have aroused great resentment on part of the ruling parties and within the visible and invisible branches of the Government”.

reference

News Desk |

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking recusal of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa from the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) bench hearing presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

CJP Khosa is the chairman of the SJC – a constitutional body tasked with scrutinizing the conduct of superior court judges. The bar council has approached the top court after the details of a meeting between the CJP and Justice Isa have emerged.

In May, the federal government through President Alvi had filed references against the Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Sindh High Court judge Justice KK Agha before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) over non-disclosure of their spouses’ foreign properties in their wealth statements.

During the meeting between the top court’s judges, they had discussed the presidential reference and later Justice Isa had written three letters to President Alvi.

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.

“Apart from it after admitting certain deliberations in the order dated 19-08-2019 of SJC, it may not be appropriate to remain a part of SJC by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan,” The Express Tribune quoted from the PBC petition.

In the petition, the paper said, PBC has maintained that the “references are primarily motivated by his authorship of the Inter alia Faizabad judgment and others which have aroused great resentment on part of the ruling parties and within the visible and invisible branches of the Government”.

PBC has prayed the apex court to restrain the SJC from proceeding against the presidential reference.

This is the fourth petition filed against the presidential reference filed against Justice Isa seeking his removal for non-disclosure of his family’s assets in his wealth statements. Justice Isa, Supreme Court Bar Association and senior lawyer of the Balochistan High Court Abid Hassan Minto have challenged it in the top court.

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

Justice Isa Read Entire Presidential Reference before Writing to President: CJP Khosa

In an order of SJC rejecting a complaint of the misconduct against Justice Isa over writing letters to President Arif Alvi, CJP Khosa has revealed that Justice Isa had read the entire presidential reference filed against him before he wrote letters to President 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,” he said.

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 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.

“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.

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.

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

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.

At this, 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.

Why Justice Isa Professed Ignorance about Contents of Reference?

Meanwhile, 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 you write letters to the President? SJC issues show-cause notice to Justice Qazi Faez Isa

“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 order read.

Facebook Comments