Justice Mansoor Ali Shah’s Scathing Dissenting Note In Justice Isa Case
Supreme Court judge justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in his 65-page dissenting note in the case pertaining to the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed that the responsibility of unlawful surveillance and illegal procurement of information about three London properties of a senior judge befalls on the shoulders of Prime Minister Imran Khan and law minister Farogh Naseem.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that PM Imran Khan was responsible for the undue haste in processing the reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and since in parliamentary democracy the “buck stops with the prime minister”, major burden of “all the malicious actions” that were taken against Justice Isa falls on the shoulders of Imran Khan and the law minister Farogh Naseem. The judge also pointed out that Imran Khan is the head of the party which filed a petition for the ouster of Justice Isa on his remarks in the Faizabad sit in case about the role of intelligence agencies in the sit in.
“In our constitutional democracy, it is essential that everyone enjoys his or her domain of freedom, free from governmental intrusion – lest it aims to check an unlawful activity,” Justice Shah wrote in the dissenting note.
Justice Mansoor decried the unlawful surveillance and procurement of information about the properties of Justice Faez Isa in London. It is a threat to the liberty and privacy which the constitution guarantees to the citizens and the manner in which the information about the properties was procured cannot be taken lightly as “in it lays the destiny of our people and the future course of our country”, he said.
Justice Mansoor criticized Assets Reform Units for using illegal means to procure information. He said that it could not be done without the help of intelligence agencies. The cabinet authorized intelligence agencies to procure the information illegally. He also pointed out that intelligence agencies were aggrieved at the Faizabad sit-in ruling and that the review petitions were filed by the defense ministry on behalf of intelligence agencies.
Justice Mansoor left it to Chief Justice to decide “appropriate proceedings” against the people responsible for publicizing the reference against Justice Isa to protect the honor and prestige of judiciary.
Justice Shah observes that any proceedings after the reference against Justice Isa was quashed, would mean that the SJC must now consider if a judge can be made vicariously liable for misconduct for his family’s affairs, which is not in the code of conduct of judiciary. He observed that the Supreme Court cannot direct anyone to file a complaint against a judge in Supreme Judicial Council and then order SJC to accept it. He was referring to the direction of Supreme Court to Federal Board of Revenue to furnish its report to SJC about the properties of Justice Isa in London. He remarked that it has nothing to do with the integrity of judiciary. It could have far reaching consequences and will undermine the Article 209 of constitution that safeguards the judiciary.