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Thursday, May 23, 2024

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

Justice Qazi Faiz Isa was told to answer before court why did he write letters to President regarding the case against him, and now Qazi Faiz has asked the court to make all the proceedings and his reply public. Qazi Faiz known for his upright stature is facing the court on undeclared property.

News Analysis |

In an interesting development, Supreme Court judge Qazi Faez Isa has requested the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to make his reply public as the allegations leveled against him are known to the public. Justice Isa has moved two applications to SJC chairman/Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, wherein he made two requests.

The first request is that the SJC should make his reply public as the allegations against him are known in the public space. Secondly, he pleaded that the council should share evidentiary sources/relevant material on the basis of which show-cause notice has been issued to him.

Justice Isa had been accused of possessing three properties in the United Kingdom in the name of his wife and children which were not disclosed in his wealth statements. Justice Isa is known for his upright and strong legal positions on several issues. He came under limelight when he disagreed and wrote strong-worded dissenting notes during the lordship of former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.

Moreover, active lawyers belonging to both Hamid Khan Group and Asma Jahangir Group are backing Justice Isa. The representatives of lawyers are on the same page that reference is based on mala fide and is against ‘independent judges’.

Show-cause notices to Justice Isa

A few days ago, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) has issued another show-cause notice to Supreme Court (SC) Justice Qazi Faez Isa, this time for “writing letters to President Arif Alvi” after a presidential reference was filed against him, local media reports claimed on Thursday. The report also claimed that the judge is yet to respond to the earlier notice of the council.

The President has sent a reference against Justice Isa of the SC for alleged misconduct. According to sources, Justice Isa did not mention the foreign assets of his wife in his official document.

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

According to legal experts, the said judge was not legally bound to mention the assets of his independent wife. Salman Akram Raja, Advocate SC, said

Justice Isa has so far received two show-cause notices on separate charges. According to the report, the SJC in its fresh notice has asked Justice Isa to explain his conduct for writing letters to the president of Pakistan. It is learnt that SC judge has been given 14 days to submit his reply.

A Lahore-based lawyer Waheed Shahzad Butt had filed a 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”.

Divided expert opinion?

The opinion is divided with regard to the implications of the reference filed against Justice Isa. Some analysts believe that the government is going to face a tough time since it has decided to question the integrity of a judge who is known for being upright and tough on spy agencies and their role in political process.

Prominent lawyer Babar Sattar noted that the case of Justice Isa been brought to media which is violation of his fundamental rights. Babar wrote his opinion in several tweets.


However, political commentators Sabir Shakir and Arif Hameed Bhatti maintain that a reference has been filed as per the law and the honorable judge has been given a due right to defend himself. “There is no question of protest or violation of the law. Has the government breached any law? On what point, the lawyers shall call a strike?” they asked.

Who will represent Justice Isa?

No legal team has been hired by justice Isa as yet. There are some reports suggest that the Supreme Court Bar Association lawyer Munir A Malik would likely lead the legal team, which would contest Justice Isa’s case before the Supreme Judicial Council and the Supreme Court. Currently, he is in the United States (US) and is likely to land in Pakistan on July 29.

However, it is yet to be seen whether Justice Isa hires any lawyers or decides to appear himself before the SJC.