Justice Isa’s review appeal: Court issues notice to federal govt

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the federal government on Justice Isa’s review appeal, with the top court judge calling a live televise of the review petition’s proceedings.

As per details, a 10-judge larger bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the petition on Wednesday.

According to Justice Isa, two members of a bench could negate administrative decisions taken by the full court. However, a decision by the 10-judge larger bench cannot be overturned by a full-court from the administrative view.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said that science and technology should be welcomed to bring transparency to the justice system. Science and technology have played a great role in improving and ensuring transparency in the system, he observed.

The judge also referred to innovation in DNA research, as hundreds of convictions had been overturned. Likewise, cameras were installed in the district courts for supervision.

However, Justice Shah also wondered about the downsides of live coverage of court proceedings. Justice, he maintained, should not only be carried out but the same should be done visibly.

He termed the judgment in the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto murder case as the ‘most controversial. He also referred to Justice Naseem Hassan Shah’s interview wherein he had revealed that there was pressure by the government to issue a verdict against the PPP leader.

The senior judge said that if a recording of the case was available, it could also be used for educational purposes. “Why do we bury the history,” he asked the bench.

At this, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik urged him to avoid referring to the judgments that could be cited before him in a case. Justice Isa wondered that if a judge could be maligned publicly, why should their case be not heard publicly.

He noted that the main stakeholders of the justice system are the litigants. He also highlighted that the live coverage was beneficial for education, ensuring discipline, and improving the quality of the justice system. Though, Justice Isa responded, saying, “It’s not a political question, however, is an avoidance of the truth.”

On the occasion, Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman said the federal government would resist Justice Isa’s appeal for live coverage. The hearing of the case was adjourned until Monday.

Earlier, the government confirmed that a presidential reference had been filed in the Supreme Judicial Council against the judge for owning foreign assets. Justice Isa has been accused of misconduct over the failure to declare his wife and children’s UK properties.

According to Justice Isa, his wife and children have on their names three properties in the W2, E10, and E11 areas of London between 2011 and 2015.

Justice Isa had challenged the reference in the Supreme court. He asked that the reference should be revoked and PM’s Assets Recovery Unit be termed null and void. He even asked for action to be taken against Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar.

During the previous hearing, Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s lawyer Munir Malik submitted sealed documents of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s wife in the Supreme court.

He stated in the court that Justice Qazi has never associated his wife’s property with him. “It seems that the government has mistakenly come to SC instead of going to FBR for this case,” he added. 

Moreover, Justice’s wife had bought her first property in London in 2004 and her passport was accepted for the purchase of property in the United Kingdom. She further told the court that her agricultural land, which she inherited from her father and does not belong to the husband, is in district Jacobabad.

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