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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Registrar office, on Wednesday, returned the review petitions filed by the federation for hearing Presidential Reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The Supreme Court on April 26, 2021 by majority of six to four set aside and recalled its order dated 19th June, 2020, wherein, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was directed to investigate tax record of Sarina Isa, the wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Mazoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, and Justice Aminud Din Khan allowed the review petition of Justice Qazi Faez Isa against the SC judgment on Presidential Reference.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, however, dissented.

The sources said the SC Registrar Office after raising objections returned the petitions saying second review petitions in the same case cannot be filed. The apex court was urged to hear petitions against the order of the majority judges in the review petitions of Justice Qazi Faez Isa and others dated 26.04.2021. The Law Ministry, in a statement, said the federation on 25.05.2021 preferred a Curative Review Petition on which certain objections were raised by the Office of the Supreme Court.

It further said that after addressing the office objections, the matter shall be re-filed in due course of time, in accordance with law.

The lawyers say that once again the federation failed in its “nefarious design” to weaken the judiciary and against the apex court judge.

The Supreme Court 26th April order said; “For the reasons to be recorded later, Review Petitions are allowed and the directions contained in paras 4 to 11 of the impugned short order dated 19.06.2020 passed in Const. Petition No.17/2019 and other connected matters, alongwith supporting detailed reasons given in the majority judgment 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. Resultantly, any such proceedings, actions, orders or reports cannot be considered or acted upon and pursued any further by any forum or authority including the Supreme Judicial Council,” added the order.

Justice Yahya Afridi also allowed the all review petitions, except of Justice Qazi Faez, and recalled the directions contained in paragraphs No 4 to 11 of the order dated 19.06.2020 and detail judgment dated 23.10.2020 passed. “Consequently, all the subsequent proceedings, actions, orders and reports made in pursuance to the said directions are declared to be of no legal effect and/or consequences.”

A 10-judge bench on 19-06-2020 through a Short Order unanimously quashed the presidential reference and abated the proceeding before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

However, seven judges - Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin - directed the commissioner FBR to issue notices under the ITO to the spouse and children of Justice Qazi Faez Isa regarding the acquisition of the three foreign properties.

While the Council was asked to consider the matter by invoking its suo motu powers with or without there being a report filed by the chairman FBR.

Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, and Yahya Afridi had disagreed with the majority judgment and wrote separate notes.

Sarina Isa in her petition prayed to recall/set aside order dated 19th June, 2020, and set aside majority judgment and declare all proceedings taken by Zulfiqar Ahmad to be void and set aside/strike down his order dated 14th September, 2020.

President Arif Alvi had filed a reference against Justice Faez Isa. It was alleged by the federal government that Justice Qazi Faez had acquired three properties in London in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015 but did not disclose them in his wealth returns. Justice Isa contested the allegation, saying he was not a beneficial owner of the flats — either directly or indirectly.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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