Islamabad, 26 April 2021 (Daily Dawn)
Members of the legal fraternity, analysts, and politicians on Monday saw as monumental and historic the Supreme Court judgement of accepting the review petitions challenging the top court’s verdict in the presidential reference filed by the government against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
Over the course of the last few months, the case garnered widespread media attention as remarks delivered by Justice Isa and his other Supreme Court counterparts made national headlines.
The Supreme Court on Monday accepted all review petitions challenging the court’s judgement in the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa except the one filed by the judge himself.
A 10-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing review petitions filed against the court’s June 19, 2020, judgement on the presidential reference in which the court had empowered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to conduct an inquiry into offshore assets of his spouse.
The court’s short order stated that “directions contained in paras 4 to 11 in the impugned short order dated 19.06.2020 … along with supporting detailed reasons given in the majority judgement of the same date are recalled and set aside.
“All the subsequent proceedings, actions, orders, information and reports in pursuance of the directions contained in the short order dated 19.6.2020 and the detailed reasons thereof, are declared to be illegal and without any legal effect.”
The judgement added that “resultantly, any such proceedings, actions, orders or reports cannot be considered or acted upon or pursued any further by any forum or authority including the Supreme Judicial Council.”
The top court accepted the review petitions by a majority of 6-4. Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mazhar Alam accepted the petitions.
However, Justice Isa’s review petition was accepted by five judges and dismissed by five judges. Justice Afridi accepted all similar petitions but dismissed Justice Isa’s petition most likely on the basis of the point he had maintained throughout the hearings — a judge cannot be a petitioner himself.
The court declared legal actions taken by the FBR and all other forums related to the assets of Justice Isa’s wife and children as “illegal”.
On April 13, the apex court had dismissed the judge’s application seeking live telecast of the proceedings on his review petition against the verdict in presidential reference case.
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