Justice Qazi Faiz Isa case, New developments reported in SC
A six-member larger SC bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad, heard the review petitions filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, link Mrs Sarina Isa and different bar associations of the country.
The petitioners have challenged the June 19 split order of a 10-member bench on the petitions filed against a presidential reference that sought Justice Isa’s removal due to his failure to mention his family members’ foreign properties in his wealth statement.
The bench observed that it would announce the decision at an appropriate time after considering the arguments of the lawyers.
During the course of proceedings, the Advocate-on-Record said Supreme Court Bar Association link) President Latif Afridi could not appear due to illness.
Justice Bandial observed that the court wanted to ask some questions from Latif Afridi, who also could not appear on the previous date of hearing.
Mentioning Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case, he asked Advocate Munir A Malik, counsel for Justice Qazi Faez Isa, to read paragraph 27 of Justice Dorab Patel in the Bhutto review case decision and sought his opinion about the composition of the bench.
Justice Bandial observed that Justice Dorab Patel wrote about the bench’s composition in accordance with judicial traditions, and avoided to comment on the objections against the bench’s composition in the review petition.
Munir Malik said the same bench link hear the review petition, which had decided the main case.
Justice Munib Akhtar asked if all the judges, who had given the decision, were not available.
Munir Malik said unavailability of the judges was a separate issue, however, their number should be same.
Justice Munib said the bench was talking about judicial traditions and principles.
Munir Malik said there were examples of cases being heard by the main bench. The number of judges should not be changed or reduced in a review case.
Senior lawyers Rashid A Rizvi and Hamid Khan agreed with Munir A Malik’s arguments.
Justice Munib said the bench was not discussing about a particular case as it was talking about the principle.
Hamid Khan said all available judges, who announced the decision, should be included in the bench.
Rashid Rizvi said the same full court should be allowed to give its opinion on Justice Dorab Patel’s opinion.
Mrs Sarina Isa said she apologized again if her statement on the last hearing had hurt the judges.
Justice Bandial said the bench’s composition was the prerogative of the Chief Justice.
He advised Mrs Sarina Isa to seek the help of an attorney.
Mrs Sarina said she was not a party to the main case and asked the bench to provide her the transcript of the case.
Justice Bandial said the transcript would be provided on a written request.
Sarina Isa said all the judges involved in the original case must be on the bench by law.
The Advocate-on-Record said Latif Afridi had stated that if the court ordered, he would submit written arguments.
The bench allowed Latif Afridi to submit written arguments in one week.
Later, the case was adjourned till date in office.