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February 18, 2020

Justice Faez Isa case: SJC rules framed by Musharraf questioned in SC

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February 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The legality of rules framed during the reign of former military dictator General (R) Pervez Musharraf for the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) were questioned before the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday.

A nine-member full court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed hearing into the identical petitions, challenging the Presidential Reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly not disclosing his foreign properties in his wealth returns.

Other members of the bench included Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Muhammad Qazi Amin Ahmed.

The court adjourned the hearing until today (Tuesday) due to the non-availability of a member of the court. Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that Justice Muneeb Akhtar, one of the members of the full court, was not available as he was not feeling well hence they are adjourning the proceedings until today (Tuesday).

During a short course of hearing, advocate Hassan Irfan, one of the petitioners, told the court that he would be submitting his written formulations however, he contended that the rules for the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) were framed under the Legal Framework Order, which was issued by the then Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf in 2002 called the Legal Framework Order 2002. He further contended that the 18th Constitutional Amendment, however, later on declared the Legal Framework Order 2002 as illegal. The petitioner further submitted that after the 18th Constitutional amendment, fresh rules for the SJC were not made. On August 24, 2002, the then Chief Executive General Musharraf issued the Legal Framework Order 2002, announcing general elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies which were to be held in October 2002.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, however, observed that they are not going to touch this dispute but are focusing on the main case.

Meanwhile, Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked Attorney General Captain (R) Anwar Mansoor Khan as to whether he has gone through the written reply of the petitioner Justice Qazi Faez Isa adding that he had touched upon every point. The AG, however, replied in negative.

On last hearing, held on February 3, Attorney General sought two-week time for the preparation of submitting his arguments in rebuttal in the instant matter. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, however, had asked the Attorney General to inform the court on two points, first under what authority the Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) was assigned the task to probe against a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.