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April 21, 2021

CJ tells Justice Isa…: ‘Answer three questions and your case may come to an end’

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April 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday asked Justice Qazi Faez Isa three questions about his legal connections regarding money trail for purchasing properties in the United Kingdom (UK) and held that if he successfully answered those questions, the case against him might come to an end.

A 10-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial, resumed hearing in the identical review petitions against its last year order of June 19, referring the matter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), directing it to initiate tax proceedings against spouse and children of Justice Faez Isa.

Justice Bandial, at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings, gave an option to the petitioner-judge, saying if he successfully answered three questions, the case against him might come to an end.

Asking the first question, Justice Umer Ata Bandial asked Justice Isa as to whether he has any relation with the foreign accounts of his spouse Sarina Isa or not.

Second, whether he (Justice Isa) had any link with the transactions made in foreign currency accounts of his spouse; and the third question as to whether the expenses incurred for the purchase of the property had nothing to do with him (Justice Isa).

Justice Faez Isa asked the bench as to whether he is required to answer these questions right now, for which he was ready.

Justice Bandial, however, replied that he could give answers by Wednesday (today).

The court also announced that from today (Wednesday), the proceedings will commence at 9:30am instead of 11:30am.

Justice Bandial said they had to decide the cases in accordance with the law. “So allow us to do justice as per law and Constitution, as courts are not required to do justice in passions,” Justice Bandial told Justice Isa.

Justice Isa said that the FBR report should not be made part of the court record. Justice Bandial, however, said that it was discussed in the court the other day. At which Justice Faez Isa said he did not get the FBR report copy.

“Today you have talked about many things before us,” Justice Bandial told Justice Isa.

Justice Isa, however, excused for that, saying that whatever he said was about the government.

“If you say something about the government, then you should go outside the court, but not over here,” Justice Bandial told Justice Isa. He said that there in the court, one could say only about law and Constitution.

Justice Isa, however, replied that had he been a politician, he could have gone outside and said against the government. But his case was in the court, that’s why he said that in the court.

“We have to decide the case as per record available before us, and if you don’t want to listen as per record, it’s up to you,” Justice Bandial told Justice Isa.

Earlier, Sarina Isa continued her arguments. Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked her as to how she could complain that she was not listened to when she had given her statement before the court last year in June, adding that transcript of her statement was available on record and she could read that.

Sarina Isa, however, said the said statement was not available with her so how could she read it, adding that she should be allowed to give arguments in her own style.

Justice Isa, however, interrupted and said that his spouse had not appeared before many persons; that’s why she might not argue as required.

“Today my wife is here in the court, and tomorrow your wives may be here,” Justice Isa said.

Justice Muneeb told Justice Isa that he should read his own statement, and they could not hear the lecture of a litigant.

“You had said in your statement that why you were not asked about the London properties,” Justice Muneeb reminded the petitioner judge.

“I am a judge of the Supreme Court and part of this bench, and can ask questions, while the litigant is required to answer court’s question,” Justice Muneeb added.

The judge further remarked that judges, but not the litigants, conduct the court proceedings.

“Abide by the court order and read out your statement,” Justice Muneeb asked Sarina Isa.

At this, Sarina wept and said that she did not want to come to the court, but her ailing father had told her to appear in the court and settle her matter.

“So I appeared before the court through video link and gave my statement and later on my father died,” she told the court.

Justice Maqbool Baqir told her that she should give her bullet points. “Rest assured, the court will give its decision after examining all her points,” the judge added.

At this, Justice Bandial and Justice Muneeb Akhtar excused to Sarina Isa, saying that their purpose was not to upset her.

Justice Bandial also excused to Justice Qazi Faze Isa, who got upset due to the court queries, at which Justice Isa had said that his father was among the Pakistan makers.

“If I’m a liar, may Allah drown me,” Justice Isa said, adding that he was not fighting for a judge’s chair.

A former SAPM has 12 companies, but no one is asking him, Justice Isa had said.

Justice Bandial told Justice Isa that the court needed a legal way to accept his stance. The judge further said that he prayed to Allah Almighty daily that may He save him from making a wrong decision in friendship or enmity of anyone.

“May Allah help me to make right decision,” Justice Bandial remarked and reminded Justice Isa that he had a meeting with him outside the court.

Justice Bandial told Justice to asks his spouse whether he had a meeting with her. “What did I say to Begum Sahiba in that meeting,” Justice Bandial further told Justice Isa.

Earlier, Sarina Isa, while arguing, told the court that her husband could not review her bank and tax records. The FBR report could not be seen by the Supreme Court without her permission, adding that even the Supreme Judicial Council could not see her tax record without her permission, as it is a matter between her and the FBR.

She said that half-truth report of the FBR was leaked to the media, adding that people like Fawad Chaudhry and Shehzad Akbar would hold a line and make a fuss.

She requested the court to withdraw its order of sending her matter to the FBR.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, however, observed that it was not possible for the judges to review the documents at the behest of the questioner. Yesterday, she and Justice Qazi Faez Isa had sought the FBR report, he added.

Sarina Isa, however, said they have not yet received the copy of the FBR report.

Justice Maqbool Baqir asked Ms Sarina Isa to compact her arguments while Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked her to point out the errors made in the court judgment of June 19, 2020.

Sarina Isa said that the court’s decision of sending her matter to the FBR was wrong as she claimed that she, on June 18, 2020, had filed before the apex court details pertaining to her tax matters as well as transfer of funds, but the court did not examine her documents while deciding the case.

She said that the apex court, while exercising its rights of suo motu jurisdiction, sent the matter to the FBR; however, the Inland Commissioner crossed his limits.

She said that suo motu notices protect the fundamental rights. The court’s notices issued under the suo motu jurisdiction had violated the fundamental rights. She said that suo motu notices were issued in the public interest, and not for infringing the fundamental rights of people. Later, the court adjourned the hearing for today (Wednesday).