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Monday June 17, 2024

CJP Isa vows to end manipulation in Supreme Court

Top judge wonders why shouldn’t SC proceed against ex-deputy speaker Suri for abrogating the Constitution

By Maryam Nawaz
January 23, 2024
CJP Qazi Faez Isa looks on in this picture released on September 22, 2023. — X/@QAU_Official
CJP Qazi Faez Isa looks on in this picture released on September 22, 2023. — X/@QAU_Official

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has vowed to end manipulation in the Supreme Court’s matter and said that he would hold an internal inquiry into the non-fixation of former deputy speaker Qasim Suri’s plea against the election tribunal decision.

“[..] if the fixing of cases in the Supreme Court continues to be manipulated then the old matters will also be fixed,” the CJP observed.

The CJP made these remarks during the hearing of a plea filed by Suri in 2019 against the election tribunal's decision to declare his election from NA-265 (Quetta- II) void on September 27, same year.

In October 2019, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by then Justice Umar Ata Bandial suspended the order of the election tribunal and restored the NA membership of Qasim Suri till the matter was decided by the court.

Baloch leader Lashkari Raisani had challenged the Suri’s victory from the Quetta’s constituency in the 2018 elections.

The matter has been lying pending before the apex court since then.

A three-member headed by the CJP took up the matter today (Tuesday).

During the hearing of the case, Suri’s counsel Naeem Bukhari told the bench that the matter of his client's disqualification and re-election in his constituency has now become infructuous.

At which, the counsel for Raisani said Suri served as the deputy speaker illegally and demanded that he should be asked to return the perks and privileges that he “enjoyed” during the stay period.

The CJP said the Balochistan High Court (BHC) tribunal had directed to re-conduct the elections in Suri’s NA-265 constituency.

Lawyer Bukhari said his client had stepped down as the National Assembly member.

“Then why did you file an appeal?” the CJP inquired.

Bukari replied that the Supreme Court suspended the tribunal’s decision in 2019

“How are you saying that the Supreme Court suspended the decision? You have asked for a stay order from the Supreme Court which was granted,” the CJP noted.

The top judge said if the apex court was “being used” in the past then he wanted to fix the mistake.

“If something went wrong, then the entire election of 2018 will be reviewed,” he added.

During the case’s hearing, the CJP also inquired about the dissolution of the National Assembly by President Alvi on the advice of then prime minister Imran Khan on April 3, 2022.

The CJP said the deputy speaker dissolved the assembly illegally and referred to the SC’s April 7, 2022 decision saying that a five-member bench recommended holding trial of Suri under Article 6 for committing high treason.

“Whoever violates the Constitution will have to face the consequences,” the CJP stated.

After Bukhari asked CJP if he was angry with him or the system, CJP Isa said he was admitting that there had been manipulation in the Supreme Court.

“Qasim Suri should also admit his mistake,” the CJP remarked.

The SC adjourned the hearing of the case for a month and summoned Suri, Raisani and SC registrar in a personal capacity.