The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Maulvi Iftikhar Uddin Mirza for using derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous language against the institution of judiciary and Supreme Court judge Qazi Faez Isa. The SC issues notice to Maulvi Iftikhar and slam the authorities for not stopping derogatory remarks against the apex court judge.
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan said Justice Isa’s wife Sarina Isa filed an application at Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station to register a first information report (FIR) for a video clip that went viral on social media of Maulvi Iftikhar where he is heard saying “Isa should be shot publicly”.
The attorney general said police have referred the matter to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), adding that FIA has initiated proceedings under the Electronic Crimes Act.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed responded that the FIA is not doing anything and asked the attorney general to appear in court at the next hearing and assist the SC. The court also summoned the FIA director-general for the next hearing on July 2.
Maulvi Iftikhar’s lawyer said Iftikhar appeared before the court earlier but the police took him into custody, to which the chief justice questioned why the police took him. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked for Maulvi Iftikhar to appear before the court.
Earlier, Justice Qazi Faez Isa appeared before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and explained conveyed his wife’s message to the bench hearing the case pertaining to a presidential reference against him. “My wife has suffered a lot due to the presidential reference against me. Today I want to convey her message to court that she wants to talk about her assets in the UK through a video call. She isn’t in a position to write a written reply. Her father is suffering from cancer,” Justice Isa said during the hearing, to which SC judge Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that this was a positive development in the case.
SC issues notice to Maulvi Iftikhar: Reference against Justice Isa quashed
On Friday, the top court had quashed the presidential reference filed against Justice Isa as well as the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) proceedings that were started on the basis of the reference.
Back in October 2019, the government informed the Supreme Court (SC) that Justice Qazi Faez Isa was the ‘ostensible owner’ of three properties in the United Kingdom as his family members purchased the assets at a time when they had no independent source of income. The government in its response lamented over the behavior of Justice Isa who instead of addressing the questions raised in the reference started vilifying the complainant. The response was submitted by then-Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan.
A 10-judge full court had issued the verdict after hearing for over six months multiple petitions filed against the reference that claimed that Justice Isa had committed misconduct by not disclosing his family members properties in the United Kingdom in his wealth statement.
“Reference No 1 of 2019 is declared to be of no legal effect whatsoever and stands quashed, and in consequence, thereof the proceedings pending in the SJC against the petitioner [Justice Isa] including the show-cause notice dated 17.07.2019 issued to him stand abated,” said a short order.
In the split verdict, announced by the presiding judge Umar Ata Bandial, seven out of the 10 judges referred the matter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for initiating tax proceedings against Justice Isa’s spouse and children for not disclosing their UK properties to the tax authorities while filing their returns.
The authorities are expected to probe into the matter to ensure a senior judge of the apex court carries out his professional duties without any pressure.