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Supreme Court judge challenges presidential reference

Through the petition, the top court’s judge has requested the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order over the proceedings of the SJC – a constitutional body tasked with scrutinizing the conduct of superior court judges – till the court decides his petition.

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News Desk |

Incumbent Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa walked up to the institution branch of the apex court on Wednesday and filed a constitutional petition challenging the presidential reference against him.

In May, the federal government through President Arif Alvi had filed references against Justice 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.

Through the petition, the top court’s judge has requested the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order over the proceedings of the SJC – a constitutional body tasked with scrutinizing the conduct of superior court judges – till the court decides his petition.

CJP Khosa had cleared the air on the issue of Justice Isa by saying that the government could not remove the superior court judge and the SJC would fairly deal with the matter.

The apex court judge has also challenged another reference filed by a Lahore-based lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt, stating that Justice Isa violated the code of conduct for members of the judiciary by “writing letters to the president of Pakistan and sharing it with the media”.

He has made both the superior bars— Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association — respondents in the petition. Total 13 respondents, including government functionaries, departments and bars, have been listed in the petition.

He has filed the constitution petition under Article 183 (3) of the Constitution and challenged it on the basis of mala fide intentions.

AGP Submits Evidence Against Judges

In a significant development, the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) had submitted several documents as evidence to establish allegations of misconduct against the superior court judges facing presidential references on July 13.

Read more: Contents of reference against SC judge not leaked from President House

Subsequently, The Express Tribune had reported, the SJC had decided to further proceed against the judges. The paper while relying on sources had stated that the SJC decided to issue show-cause notices both to Justice Isa and Justice Agha. However, the paper had stated, there was no official confirmation by the SJC regarding the development.

Reportedly, AGP Anwar Mansoor Khan while submitting a rejoinder to the written replies of the judges had submitted documents as evidence to establish allegations of misconduct against them. The five-judge council led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa had conducted hearing for more than an hour to examine the evidence.

According to Rule 9 of the SJC Procedure of Inquiry, 2005, “if the council decides to proceed against a judge, a show-cause notice shall be issued to him along with supporting material calling upon him to explain his conduct within 14 days. On receipt of reply from the judge, the council shall convene its meeting to proceed further with the matter.

Trust Judges, They will Ensure Justice in Justice Isa’s Matter: CJP Khosa

In the second week of June, CJP Khosa had cleared the air on the issue of Justice Isa by saying that the government could not remove the superior court judge and the SJC would fairly deal with the matter.

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

“Trust the judges. They will ensure justice [in the matter],” CJP Khosa had said while responding to a query about Justice Isa at the Cambridge University in the UK. The Cambridge University Union had invited CJP Khosa to deliver a speech on June 9.

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