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August 18, 2019

SC moved to quash references against Justice Isa, Justice Agha

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August 18, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was requested on Saturday to quash the references filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha in view of bias and mala fide conduct of the Secretary Supreme Judicial Council.

Abid Hassan Minto and I A Rehman have filed a joint petition in the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

They have made Supreme Judicial Council, Secretary Supreme Judicial Council, Federation of Pakistan through Ministry of Law and Justice, President of Pakistan Arif Alvi, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha as respondents. The petitioners prayed to the apex court to declare that in view of the conduct of Secretary Supreme Judicial Council, tainted with bias and mala fide, the proceedings in regard to the three references are void and liable to be quashed.

They further prayed to declare that the SJC cannot consist of members against whom matters are pending. The petitioners also prayed that direction be given that the matters regarding Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha be taken up on their turn, after disposing of the matters already pending and in accordance with properly framed rules/procedure that comply with the law and the constitution and the general norms of justice.

They also prayed to declare that the SJC is bound to dispose of every reference filed with it and that unless a reference is dismissed, a judge is not entitled to receive post retirement benefits irrespective of whether he/she retired or resigns during the pendency of references before the Supreme Judicial Council. The petitioners further prayed that interim orders, staying the proceedings of the SJC may also be kindly passed. They contended that no information is available in the public domain regrading the number of references if any pending against the present members of the SJC. They submitted that a member against whom a reference is pending can’t be part of the SJC, adding that this is for the obvious reason that such a member could be perceived to be conducting the proceedings of the Council and creating precedents of procedure etc that may be of help to him when his reference is taking up. “It is thus proper, since justice must seem to be done, and since a possible situation of conflict of interest might arise, that the members, if any, against whom references are pending not to sit in the SJC until their own matters are disposed of”, they submitted.

They contended that in light of these grounds, the Council is not properly constituted for the out of turn matters of Justices Qazi Faez Isa and KK Agha and the proceedings before it or without jurisdiction and Coram non judice.

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