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Bench Hearing Justice Isa’s Petitions Against Presidential Reference Dissolved

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The bench of the Supreme Court hearing petitions challenging the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa was dissolved on Monday due to unavailability of one of the judges.

According to a report in Dawn, the 10-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was dissolved due to non-availability of Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel.

Justice Bandial stated that the matter of constituting the new bench was being sent to the chief justice.

Justice Isa’s counsel Munir Malik requested the formation of a full court bench to continue hearing the case. In response, Justice Bandial stated that it was the decision of the chief justice to constitute a bench.

Initially, a seven-member bench was constituted to hear the petitions against the presidential reference. However, after the recusal of Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the chief justice had been requested to constitute a new bench following which the current 10-member bench was made. This would be the second time the chief justice would be requested to constitute a new bench.

In response to the matter, members of the Pakistan Bar Council stressed that they could not see justice being delivered.

Senior lawyers told media that they did not understand the urgency in the case, and that the proceedings could wait if a judge was unavailable.

Lawyers also stated that a Supreme Court judgement had stated that a bench once formed could not be dissolved and that the chief justice did not have the authority to constitute another bench.

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