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Pakistan

SC registrar returns govt review petition against Justice Isa verdict with objection

  • The Registrar Office objected that a review could not be conducted twice for the same case.
  • The government said it will not be deterred by the objection and shall ‘re-file the petition in due course of time.’
Updated 26 May 2021

The Registrar Office of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday returned a review petition filed by the government against the apex court’s April 2021 verdict on review petitions in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case with an objection.

The Registrar Office objected that a review could not be conducted twice for the same case.

Reacting to the development, the Ministry of Law & Justice issued a statement, saying,

“Against the order of the majority in the review petitions of Justice Qazi Faez Isa and others dated [April 26], the Federation of Pakistan on [May 25, 2021] preferred a Curative Review Petition on which certain objections were raised by the Office of the Supreme Court.”

The Ministry’s statement asserted that the government will not be deterred by the objection and shall ‘re-file the petition in due course of time.’ This move will be in accordance with the law, after addressing the Registrar Office’s objections.

In April this year, Justice Isa won a case that set aside SC directives. The SC had previously directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to conduct an inquiry into three UK properties in the name of Justice Isa’s wife and children.

After a legal battle spanning over two years, the apex court overturned its June 19, 2020 verdict, by a majority vote of six to four.

Previously, the presidential reference against Justice Isa was cast out by the SC as ‘invalid’ in June 2020.

The reference filed by the government of Pakistan in May 2019 had alleged that Justice Isa acquired three properties in London on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015.

However, the apex judge, in line to become the chief justice of Pakistan, had not disclosed these assets in his wealth returns. In a petition of his own, Justice Isa pleaded before the apex court that;

“The powers that be wanted to remove him from his constitutional office by hook or by crook”, reported Dawn.

At the time, Justice Isa had claimed that President Arif Alvi had not formed his own independent opinion before filing the presidential reference against him.

Days after its judgment on the review petitions, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, decided not to proceed any further against Justice Isa. This came on the backdrop of the 26th April SC verdict, reported Dawn.

It is pertinent to mention that Justice Isa is in line to become the next CJP on September 18, 2023.

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