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September 21, 2019

Presidential reference: CJP forms full court to hear Qazi Faez petition

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September 21, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Friday constituted a full court for hearing petitions filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and various bar councils and associations challenging presidential references against two judges of the superior courts.

The full court will be headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandyal and will comprise Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah (if available), Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Muhammad Qazi Amin. According to reports, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah is proceeding to South Africa to attend the International Organisation for Judicial Training Conference next week.

Munir A Malik, former attorney general and counsel for Justice Qazi Faez Isa, had also sought general adjournment for two weeks due to his illness. Munir A Malik had filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking two weeks general adjournment as he on September 17, after appearing before the larger bench in Justice Qazi Faez petition’s hearing, suffered a heart attack due to which he was shifted to Al-Shifa Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and thoroughly examined by the doctors. Later on, Munir A Malik was shifted to Catheterisation Lab where an angioplasty was done immediately implanting two stents.

According to a lawyer close to the senior Munir A Malik, he was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, but he is still in the federal capital and did not go back to Karachi as doctors have advised him not to travel for 48 hours. The lawyer further said he has also filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking general adjournment for two weeks. On September 17, Munir A Malik while appearing before the larger bench had sought recusal of two members of the bench Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsen as well as constitution of a full court comprising judges who are not members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to hear his client’s petition. He had further submitted that his client had raised some sensitive issues in his petition hence a full court of judges, who are not members of the SJC, should be constituted to hear his client's petition. Later on, the said bench was disbanded after two of its members Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsen recused themselves from the bench. The next day, the court while releasing its written order directed formation of a full court to hear the case.

Apart from Justice Qazi Faez Isa, various bar associations and bar councils have also challenged the presidential references filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court and Justice KK Agha of the Sindh High Court alleging that they owned properties in London, but did not disclose them in their wealth statements.

The Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council, Sindh High Court Bar Association, Quetta Bar Association through its president Muhammad Asif Reki, Balochistan Bar Council, Balochistan High Court Bar Association, Sindh Bar Council through former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani and Abid Hassan Manto and IA Rehman through a joint petition had also challenged the presidential reference against Justice Faez Isa and Justice KK Agha.

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