While hearing review petition of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa against a smaller bench’s ruling on the presidential reference against him on Tuesday, a larger bench asked Justice Isa to respond to three questions in the matter.
Heading a 10-member larger bench Justice Umer Ata Bandial asked Justice Isa to respond to three questions on the next hearing. The bench asked whether Justice Qazi Faiz Isa is completely indifferent to his wife’s bank account; whether Justice Qazi Faiz Isa had any legal connection with the money abroad to buy properties in foreign country; and whether the expenses incurred for the purchase of the property in abroad had nothing to do with Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
During the course of hearing, the wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Sarina Isa alleged that the Supreme Court did not set the same standards for her as it did for Prime Minister Imran Khan, thereby violating her right to a fair trial under Article 19 of the Constitution.
At the onset of the hearing, Justice Maqbool Baqar asked Sarina Isa to make her arguments as brief as possible. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah asked Ms Isa about lacuna in the verdict of June 20, 2020.
Advancing arguments Sarina Isa contended that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) did not share with her a “confidential report”. She said FBR had sent the report to the Supreme Judicial Council. Ms Isa alleged the FBR sent the report despite the bench’s order a day earlier to do so.
She further said that her tax matters are deeply personal. Ms Isa expressed even her husband is not privy to them. The judge’s wife contended that every judge is citing her personal tax matter report of FBR. She alleged the FBR illegally submitted a report on her tax matters without her knowledge. Ms Isa complained her two years of life have been a subject for talk shows. She alleged that T.V channels, Fawad Chaudhry, Shahzad Akbar and Firdous Ashiq Awan made her private life public.
Justice Akhtar remarked mere an application doesn’t provide ground for confidential report provision to an individual. Responding to a query of Justice Akhtar, Sarina Isa submitted, “I came to court because of my father”. She became overcome with emotion at the memory of her late father.
At this, Justice Baqar intervened and asked her to sit down. “I think we’ve heard enough,” he said. To which Justice Munib Akhtar said that he had not meant to upset her. Earlier, Justice Banidal said FBR ignored questions about Ms Isa income from school and rent of Clifton area Karachi property.
“You were not a party in the main case,” he observed. Justice Bandial said while addressing Sarina Isa. “You yourself have shown intention to be part of the case”
To which, Justice Qazi Faez Isa objected the observation and termed it contrary to the facts. He accused Law Minister Farogh Nasim of making misleading statements in the court in this regard.
Justice Umer Ata Bandial then explained to Sarina that she was appearing before the bench for the first time. He said it is why the court is raising questions in response to her arguments. To which Sarina Isa submitted that she can write down the bench questions and respond to them in detail later.
Then the judge posed four questions asking whether she had operated a fake bank account in another country; whether she had benefited from a trustee account in another country; if the transactions she had shown matched the value of the properties she had purchased abroad; and whether she transferred all funds through formal banking channels.
“You have to provide details of the period after August 5, 2009? When your husband became the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court,” the judge explained. Whereas Justice Maqbool Baqir said the court was examining any illegalities or unconstitutional angles in the judgment.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing for April 21.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org