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Tuesday May 28, 2024

Justice Isa not consulted to be part of larger bench hearing election case

Justice Qazi Faez Isa was not consulted before constitution of larger bench hearing case of delay in holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

By Fakhar Durrani
February 27, 2023
Justice Qazi Faez Isa. Twitter
Justice Qazi Faez Isa. Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Senior Puisne judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, has not been consulted before the constitution of the larger bench hearing the case of delay in holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A well-placed source informed The News that the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, who is about to become the Chief Justice of Pakistan later in the year, was not even asked if he wanted to be a part of the larger bench hearing one of the most important cases.

Earlier, upon the cancellation of Justice Qazi Faez’s bench at the Supreme Court Karachi Registry, the social media went abuzz that the senior puisne judge of the apex court might be included in the larger bench after the ruling coalition’s objection to the composition of the bench. However, the sources claimed that Justice Qazi Faez Isa had not been intimated about any such thing as of February 26, 2023.

The Supreme Court Karachi Registry on February 25 issued a clarification that the bench had been cancelled at the request of Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The ruling coalition, including PMLN, PPP and JUIF, have raised objections to the composition of the larger bench. The three parties have stated that two members of the nine-judge bench should recuse themselves from the case. The ruling parties have further said that the two judges should never be a part of any bench hearing any case involving the PPP, PMLN and JUIF.

Legal experts have also raised questions on the exclusion of senior judges of the apex court, including Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood from the benches hearing important cases. Traditionally, it is believed that senior judges are consulted on such matters.It is important to note here that on February 22, 2023, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took suo motu of the delay in holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and constituted a nine-member larger bench. The bench comprises Chief Justice, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah.