Former CJP Chaudhry comes to Justice Isa’s defence

Former CJP Chaudhry comes to Justice Isa’s defence

ISLAMABAD: The former chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has said he stands by the appointment of Justice Qazi Faez Isa and will fully support his case for being constitutional, legal and on merit.

The former CJP on whose recommendation Justice Isa was appointed chief justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC), told The News here on Saturday that the petition filed against the reputed judge and also fixed for hearing for April 4 by the Supreme Court cannot be entertained and should have been dismissed in chamber.

Justice Chaudhry said Isa is a man of great repute both as a judge and as a human being and thus should not be humiliated. Recalling his appointment as the chief justice of the BHC, Chaudhry said Qazi’s appointment was in line with the law, Constitution and prevailing precedents.

He said there were also some precedents like Justice Tufail Ali Abdur Rehman case which were followed to appoint Isa as the BHC chief justice of BHC when all the judges of the BHC had to retire following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Sindh High Court Bar Association case of July 31, 2009.

Chaudhry said in accordance with the pre-18th Amendment constitutional mechanism, the appointment was made in consultation with the then chief justice, governor Balochistan and the president.

Since the BHC was non-functional after the retirement of all the judges, he said, Isa was appointed directly as the CJ BHC where he continued till his elevation in the apex court in 2014. Isa’s role was also instrumental in the appointment of other judges in the high court.

Chaudhry said the petition filed in the Supreme Court against Isa’s appointment two years ago cannot be entertained. Initially, the petition was filed in the IHC which dismissed the same with cost, Chaudhry said, lamenting that it has now been fixed for hearing before the Supreme Court.

Chaudhry said that fixing such a petition for hearing before a Supreme Court bench was beyond his expectation. It should have been dismissed in the chamber, he said.

He added that Isa not only enjoys great repute but his work as a judge initially at the BHC and later in the Supreme Court has also been extraordinary.

The former CJP said Justice Isa belongs to a highly respected family from Balochistan. To a question whether he would defend Isa’s case in the apex court, Chaudhry said that being a former CJP he could not represent anyone in the court of law, but he not only stands by Isa’s appointment but will also support him completely.

He also expressed sadness over the departure of recently retired Supreme Court Justice Dost Muhammad Khan without a full court reference. “It was not a good precedent,” he said. APP/AFP