On Monday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan referred the matter of Justice Qazi Faez Isa and superior bars’ plea regarding the inclusion of three minority judges in the bench hearing the review petitions against the June 19, 2020 order to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed.
According to the details, the Supreme Court Judge Justice Umar Ata Bandial announced the summary judgment. However, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik disagreed with the verdict and would write his dissenting note.
A six-judge larger bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on December 10, 2020, reserved the decision on the plea that was filed by Justice Isa, his wife Sarina Isa and other petitioner bars regarding inclusion of three judges – Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi – in the bench hearing review petitions against a judgment wherein the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was directed to conduct an inquiry into the matter regarding non-disclosure of SC judge’s family members’ assets abroad.
Senior lawyers said that there is a chance that the court may rule that a similar number of judges bench (seven members) should hear the review petition against the June 19, 2020 order. After the retirement of Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Aminuddin, a senior judge, is eligible to hear Justice Isa’s review petition.
During the case proceedings in December last month, Justice Isa’s wife, Sarina, said that CJP Gulzar Ahmed should be impartial and that he is a respondent in this case as a member of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) which had issued a show-cause notice to Justice Isa.
Upon this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial had reprimanded Sarina Isa for calling into question the impartiality of CJP Gulzar. Justice Bandial told Sarina Isa not to overstep her limits. “You should be careful while talking about the chief justice and the institution,” he had noted.
Later, the apex court on February 11 ruled that Justice Isa should not hear cases related to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Earlier, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) contended that if a bench – not including dissenting judges – heard the review petitions in Justice Isa’s case, then such adjudication would give rise to a perception that the dissident judicial voices are being silenced.