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Justice Faez Isa Challenges The References Filed Against Him

Justice Qazi Faez Isa under Article 184 (3) on Wednesday challenged the two references filed against him in the Supreme Court, saying these were based on mala fide intentions, and requested the apex court to issue a restraining order over Supreme Judicial Council proceedings till a decision is made on his petition.

He has made both the superior bars— Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association—respondents in the 354-page petition. A total of 13 respondents have been named in the petition including government functionaries, departments and bars.

It is likely that the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) will now also move a constitution petition against the reference in the apex court.

The idea to move such petitions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution was proposed by three senior members of the PBC through a resolution in the form of a letter to the council’s secretary by former SCBA presidents Rasheed A Rizvi and Kamran Murtaza and PBC executive committee’s former chairman Akhtar Hussain, on July 30.

In May, President Arif Alvi authorised the filing of references with the SJC against Justice Isa and Sindh High Court’s Justice KK Agha for allegedly not disclosing their foreign properties in their wealth statements.

Consequently, Justice Isa had written a letter to Alvi seeking clarity regarding the reports that the government had filed a reference against him over allegations of misconduct. Copies of the letter were sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the apex court as well.

The second reference against Justice Isa was filed in the SJC by Advocate Waheed Shahzad Butt under Article 209 of the Constitution for allegedly violating the code of conduct for judges by writing two letters to President Alvi.

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Renowned lawyer Munir A Malik is the leading counsel for Justice Isa. Likewise, PBC’s three members – Rasheed A Rizvi, Akhtar Hussain and Kamran Murtaza – have proposed a resolution to challenge the presidential reference and have forwarded it to all 22 members for obtaining their consent. It is learnt that 15 members have endorsed the proposal.

Only two members, who are associated with the Hamid Khan Group, have opposed moving the petition in the apex court.

On the other hand, legal experts believe that there is a lesser chance of the Supreme Judicial Council concluding its proceedings in the Justice Isa case before the retirement of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on August 28. They believe that Justice Saeed may avoid concluding the SJC proceedings before his retirement.

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