She questioned CJP for not constituting a full court to hear her review petition against June 19 order
ISLAMABAD:Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday expressed anger over Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s wife, Sarina Isa, for questioning the impartiality of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed for not constituting a full court to hear her review petition against the June 19 order.
Appearing before a six-judge larger bench, Sarina stated that the CJP should be impartial and that he was a respondent in this case as a member of the Supreme Judicial Council. She also questioned whether a six-judge larger bench could overturn a judgment of seven judges.
Surprised at her remarks, Justice Bandial asked Sarina Isa to “not overstep your limits”. “You should be careful while talking about the CJP and the institution,” he further observed.
Justice Bandial added that the chief justice as the head of the institution left the matter related to the inclusion of three judges to this larger bench.
Justice Isa’s counsel, Muneer Malik, while pressing his application regarding the inclusion of the three judges, cited several judgments to establish that the review petition should be heard by the same bench.
Rasheed A Rizvi counsel for Sindh High Court Bar Association stated that if three judges are not included in the bench it could damage the public perception.
Justice Qazi Amin Ahmed remarked that the court decides cases in accordance with the law and the Constitution rather than on the basis of public perception.
Sarina Isa, however, asked the bench why only she and her children were being held accountable and nothing is being sought from public office bearers.
SCBA President Lateef Afridi sought time to present his arguments in this case.
Hearing of the case is adjourned until Thursday.
Earlier, on July 21, Sarina Isa had filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s June 19 short order, contending that the split order is discriminatory as it singles out Justice Isa’s family from a newly created “class of persons”.
“By issuing orders under Article 184(3), the Honourable Supreme Court has, effectively, created a class of persons and redefined the private and confidential affairs of individual citizens falling within such class as matters of ‘public importance’,” said the petition filed under Article 188 of the Constitution.
A ten-judge full court on June 19 quashed a presidential reference that accused Justice Isa of committing misconduct by not disclosing his family member’s foreign properties and sought his removal.
In the split order, seven of the judges had, however, referred the case to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and ordered the tax authority to launch an inquiry into foreign assets of Justice Isa’s family.
A day before today’s review petition hearing, Supreme Court Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah maintained that a judge, who dissented from the majority judgment, if available, must be part of the bench constituted to hear review petition.
“There are many other cases of our jurisdiction as well as the Indian jurisdiction wherein dissenting judges were part of the benches that heard the review petitions against the judgments of the court pronounced in terms of the majority opinion,” says the 22-page dissenting note authored by Justice Shah in his review petition against the apex court’s judgment in the GIDC case.
The observation was termed significant in the context of Justice Isa’s review petition, wherein three judges, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi, who held a minority view, are excluded from the larger bench that has taken up the SC judge’s case.