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Sarina Isa could not explain London properties: FBR

Federal Board of Revenue argued the that future Chief Justice's wife could not explain her properties abroad, and the registrar's office decided the case without hearing the revenue board's arguments, thus a new hearing should be initiated.

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Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday filed an appeal against the Supreme Court registrar’s objections on Justice Faez Isa’s review petition.

The revenue board in its appeal asked for the decision of the registrar’s office to be quashed along with the dismissal of the objections.

The appeal demanded that the case should be fixed for a new hearing, and deemed the objections by the registrar were “illegal”.

The appeal said that Justice Faez Isa’s wife, Sarina Isa could not explain her three properties in London, while the review case was decided without listening to FBR’s arguments on the issue.

Thus, the FBR prayed to the court that the appeal should be accepted for hearing as a first review appeal.

It is worth mentioning that Justice Qazi Faez Isa is already scheduled to ascend as the Chief Justice of Pakistan on 17 September 2023.

Thus, according to the government’s recent appeal failure to hold Justice Isa accountable owing to Apex court’s April 26 decision has, “…sufficiently closed the doors of the judicial accountability in general and the accountability of Justice Isa in respect of the allegations and information…”

Read More: Will President’s Curative Review Petition against Justice Faez Isa succeed?

Government’s Appeal

It must be mentioned that the federal government on 8th July filed a chambers appeal in the Supreme Court against the May 25 decision of the court registrar to refuse to entertain a curative review petition in the case.

This petition says that that the majority judgment of the Supreme Court given on April 26 is erroneous, in breach of natural justice, and a result of actual bias and otherwise unlawful, unconstitutional, and without jurisdiction. It must be said that it is a very unusual remedy.

On April 26, the highest court of Pakistan by a majority of six to four had overturned its own majority ruling of June 19, 2020, which had ordered an investigation by the tax authorities into three foreign properties in the name of the wife and children of Justice Isa.

Reportedly, the appeal by the government said that the majority judgment fails to emphasize the duty of the officials, judges, Qazis, and public servants to explain their finances and assets owes its genesis to our religion and glorious heritage, apart from being fully backed by modern jurisprudence and that the assets and finances of close relatives of public servants, officials, judges, Qazis, etc. such as their spouses and dependent children are also required to be explained.

It said that the majority judgment has also diluted the standards of judicial accountability, and rather a shield has been provided to the judges of the superior courts to hide behind the doctrine of judicial independence only to evade judicial accountability.

The appeal further argued that the majority judgment has exempted a judge’s wife, whether independent or not and his dependent children from the scrutiny of their assets and finances, the appeal argues, adding that it has also granted an exemption to judges of the superior courts, particularly Justice Isa, from explaining the foreign assets in the names of his wife and children, who have not been able to give any justification with regard to the sources from which three London properties were acquired, it contends.

Read More: Justice Faez Isa’s case exposes the biasness of Pakistan’s higher courts

The appeal alleges that Justice Isa was sufficiently connected with the foreign currency bank account of Sarina Isa through which the London properties were funded.