Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Friday issued clarification regarding the “erroneous interpretations” of a video clip showing him and Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, dubbed on social media as an “awkward moment.”
Justice Isa firmly rebutted the notion that the captured moment in the video was awkward, asserting that he had already exchanged greetings with Justice Bandial before the camera captured the scene.
“Justice Iqbal Hameed Ur Rehman took oath as the chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court yesterday (1 June 2023). Immediately after the ceremony's conclusion, I went first to greet and congratulate his wife, where I met Justice Umar Ata Bandial and greeted him. Then I proceeded to greet Justice Rahman,” said a clarification note issued by Justice Isa on Friday.
Speculations started when a video from an event made rounds. It was a ceremony to administer the oath of office to Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rahman as the new chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court in the SC building on June 01, 2023. Justice Bandial, clad in his official robe, accompanied Justice Rahman to the podium and administered the oath.
The video showed the junior interacting with the crowd as the ceremony ended. But when “Justice Bandial approached, Justice Isa seemed to linger for a moment before leaving his conversation partner to the CJP and deciding to join another group”.
The clarification note by Justice issued about the above-mentioned impression, which he described as “false”.
The note added that after greeting Rahman, the senior puisne judge went to talk to Dr Syed Muhammad Anwer, a former Aalim judge of the FSC when Justice Bandial came to greet him too. “Someone recorded this moment and incorrectly added that I had not greeted Justice Bandial, even though just a few minutes earlier I had done so.”
The senior puisne judge added that he turned because Justice Rahman’s wife wanted to introduce him to some of her family members.
He urged that such “factually incorrect stories” should not be propagated, as they cause “unnecessary and avoidable misgivings and harm.” Justice Isa added that he and his family could attest to the recent pain of being the brunt of sponsored false stories.
“It is also factually incorrect to add in the same breath that I have intentionally created a separate group within the Supreme Court,” he said, “this is completely untrue. I stand by my oath of office to defend and uphold the Constitution of Pakistan and cannot concur with anything less. Garnishing facts to create a controversial narrative is damaging to the institution.”
He advised us not to be detracted and to work together to build a strong judicial system that focuses on the administration of expeditious justice.