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June 27, 2019

Reference against Justice Faez Isa: Lawyers to stage protest on July 2 in SC, says SCBA

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June 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Wednesday questioned as to why the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) chose to first take up the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, judge of the Supreme Court while ignoring 26 other complaints.

President Supreme Court Bar Association Amanullah Kanrani, while addressing the media in Supreme Court, announced that the lawyers would hold a peaceful protest on July 2 in the Supreme Court on the eve of second hearing of the Supreme Judicial Council on a presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. He said the lawyers would come to the Supreme Court and start peaceful protest and sit-in, adding the protest willcontinue till the conclusion of the proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council. He said the government is bent upon character assassination of Justice Qazi Faez Isa. He recalled that earlier, they had asked the SJC about the volume of complaints pending with it against the judges. In response, he said the SJC revealed that only 28 cases, including the two presidential references are pending before it. He said the disclosure came from the Supreme Court public relations officer after the leaders of lawyers organisations had told media that the SJC has about 350 references pending.

Our question is that after ignoring other 26 complaints, why the SJC chose to first take up the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa,” Kanrani questioned. He said the government has filed the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa on mala fide intention and in lieu of the independent decisions made by Justice Isa. “We are determined to extend our maximum support and solidarity to Justice Isa and will stage a peaceful protest on July 2 in the Supreme Court”, the SCBA president said. He said although neither Justice Isa contacted them nor they offered their services so far to the judge to plead his case in the SJC however, it is their duty to protect him and to protect the judiciary as there is a close relationship between the bench and the bar. The president of Pakistan had filed references with the SJC against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of Supreme Court and KK Agha of Sindh High Court for allegedly holding properties in London which they did not disclose in their wealth returns. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, senior Judge of the Supreme Court however, has already rejected the allegations leveled in the presidential reference filed against him saying he and his family were maliciously maligned by half-truth and innuendos by members of the government which is deeply distressing both for his family and himself.

On June 14, a five-member bench of the SJC comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh and Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth had conducted its preliminary hearing on the references. Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan who was notified as prosecutor in these references had presented his arguments however, the decision of the SJC was not known till 6 pm.

After holding its preliminary meeting on June 14, it was widely reported in media that that the Council through its secretary dispatched an envelope to the house of Justice Qazi Faez Isa, at the Judges Colony. The legal fraternity had staged a sit-in at the premises of the Supreme Court on June 14 in response to the call given by the Pakistan Bar Council to observe countrywide strike to express solidarity with Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha.

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