Govt satisfied over SC verdict, no plan to file review petition: Shahzad Akbar

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Govt satisfied over SC verdict, no plan to file review petition: Shahzad Akbar

ISLAMABAD-Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar Friday said the government was satisfied over the Supreme Court's judgment on Justice Qazi Faez Isa's petition  challenging the presidential reference under Article 209 of the Constitution.

It was a sensitive issue and it was not anyone's victory or defeat as such processes took place in a democracy, he said, adding the government had no plan to file a review petition against the verdict.

He was addressing a press conference flanked by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz here after the ten-member larger SC bench quashed the presidential reference

against Supreme Court Judge Qazi Faez Isa for for non-disclosure of his family members’ properties in his wealth statements.

Shahzad Akbar said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, its Chairman Imran Khan and he himself as an advocate had great respect for the honourable superior court judges, and independence of the judiciary.

The PTI believed in separation of judiciary, executive and legislature as was envisaged in the Constitution, he added.

The SAPM said under Article 209, there were three ways to file a reference against a judge. Either the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) itself take a notice or the government files a reference or any person approaches the Council for action against a judge, he added.

He said there was mechanism of accountability of every institution and the superior judiciary was answerable only to the Supreme Judicial Council comprising five senior most judges of the superior judiciary. 

Shahzad Akbar said the reference was about three flats owned by the wife and children of the honourable judge, which had been challenged by the latter. The SC bench, in its short order, had declared the SJC's proceedings and its show-cause notice as abate, he added.

As per the SC verdict, he said within seven days, the Inland Commissioner of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would issue notices to the judge's spouse and children, who were the owners of  property. AS per the SC direction, the FBR was required to compile a report  regrading assets of Justice Isa’s family members and submit it to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which after reviewing it would take an appropriate action, if needed, he added.

He said the government believed that the issues related to the judges of superior judiciary should be looked into by the SJC. The scheme of things given in the court verdict was appropriate.

The SAPM clarified that with filing of the reference, the role of the government had ended and that was why neither he nor Law Minister Farough Naseem ever commented on the case. It was  intentional as they also wanted to avoid any controversy.

He said the superior courts judges were custodian of the Constitution, however, asking any question from them under the law was legal.

He said as he was addressing the press conference, a section of the media  was giving a wrong impression that the word 'mala fide' had been used in the verdict and that the Asset Recovery Unit was declared illegal. He found no such thing in the short order, he said, adding the objective of holding the press conference was to clarify the government's position that it would implement the detailed order, whenever it would be issued.

  He said it was an important case which would be a beacon of light for future. The government had already stated that it had no objection to referring the case to FBR, but the petitioner did not agree to it.

Earlier Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said the press conference was being held to give the government's stance on the court verdict.\932