News Desk |
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has dismissed a complaint of misconduct against Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez 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, a lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt had filed the complaint of misconduct against Justice Isa for writing letters to the president.
SJC had issued a notice to the AGP Anwar Mansoor Khan for June 14 in connection presidential references against Justice Isa and Justice Agha.
On August 19, the SJC has rejected the complaint of misconduct against Justice Isa for writing letters to President Alvi.
“The record shows that at the relevant time the respondent-judge was also under some stress because of the medical condition of his father-in-law and daughter, which might have aggravated his sense of harassment and might have contributed towards outrunning of his discretion. In this view of the matter the alleged impropriety in the private letters written by the respondent-judge to the president has not been found by us to be serious or grave enough to constitute misconduct sufficient for his removal from the exalted office of a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This information/complaint is; therefore, filed,” The Express Tribune quoted from a 10-page order of the SJC.
SJC Chairman and Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has written the order on advocate Butt’s reference. The presidential reference against Justice Isa is still pending.
In the order, the council observed that the complainant had not alleged that the contents of Justice Isa’s letters were leaked to the media by the respondent-judge himself, adding that it is also said that the informant was not able to produce anything before the council to establish that Justice Isa had revealed or disclosed anything about his relevant letters to anybody.
SJC has dismissed a complaint of misconduct against Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa over writing letters to the president of Pakistan.
“In the absence of such an allegation having been levelled in the information and also in the complete absence of any material having been produced before the council in support of such a possibility the complexion of the information against the respondent-judge undergoes a metamorphosis reducing it merely to writing of private letters by him to the president,” the paper quoted from the order.
The order stated that the purpose or the contents of such letters might appear to some to be oblique or objectionable but such letters were merely private letters not shown to be meant or intended to be read by anybody other than the addressee and those to whom they had been copied.
As regards to the contents of the said letters, the order stated, “It could well be that after filing of the reference against him by the president, Justice Isa might have subjectively felt a sense of persecution at the hands of those whom he suspected and in that subjective sense of hounding he might have overstepped the sense of propriety vis-à-vis the contents of the letters written by him.”
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.
SJC Chairman and Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has written the order on advocate Butt’s reference.
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.
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 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”.