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Pakistan

SC restrains Justice Isa from hearing cases involving PM

  • The written order states that one of the bench member, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, sought to place on record photocopies of certain documents received by him from some anonymous source through a WhatsApp message
  • The AGP submitted that since the authenticity of the documents is questionable, these might not be taken on record
Published February 12, 2021

(Karachi) The Supreme Court has ordered that Justice Qazi Faez Isa should not hear cases involving Prime Minister Imran Khan, local media reported on Friday. The top court's ruling comes on a petition pertaining to allegations that the premier distributed development funds among lawmakers

“The Hon Chief Justice of Pakistan, therefore, observed that in these circumstances it would not be proper for the Hon Judge to hear the matter considering that he had already filed a petition against the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his personal capacity," a five-page written order of Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed stated.

"Therefore, to uphold the principle of un-biasness and impartiality, it would be in the interest of justice that the Hon Judge should not hear matters involving the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” the verdict said.

The petition was heard by a five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court led by the CJP and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan. The bench disposed of a case related to news report citing him as announcing allocation of Rs500 million to all lawmakers ahead of the Senate polls.

The written order states that one of the bench member, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, sought to place on record photocopies of certain documents statedly received by him from some anonymous source through a WhatsApp message.

It further states that the copies of such documents were handed over by the judge to other members of the bench. A copy was also handed over to Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan. Justice Isa also stated that he was unsure if the documents were genuine.

The AGP submitted that since the authenticity of the documents was questionable, these might not be taken on record. He further submitted that in any event, the judge would become a complainant in the matter and in that capacity it would not be appropriate for the judge to hear the matter.

Earlier, taking notice of approval of development funds for members of the National Assembly and provincial assemblies by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa warned that legal proceedings would be initiated if the move is found to be in contravention of the law, local media reported.

The PM had approved development grant of Rs500 million to each lawmaker on January 27 during a meeting at the Parliament House. The grants were allotted under the sustainable development goals so that the lawmakers could carry out development schemes in their constituencies. The decision was taken after long-standing demands from the lawmakers for release of development funds.

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