PESHAWAR: Lawyers of the provincial capital on Tuesday expressed concern about the hearing into a case against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa by the chief justice of Pakistan and warned they along with legal fraternity in other parts of the province would take to the streets if the Supreme Court didn’t stop hearing the ‘dead case’.

During the joint general body meeting of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association, Peshawar District Bar Association and KP Bar Council, the participants also expressed concern and resentment about the ‘overstepping’ of constitutional powers by different national institutions and asked them to restrict themselves to the respective constitutional roles.

The meeting chaired by PHCBA president Arbab Mohammad Usman Khan was convened on a two-point agenda i.e. ‘denial of full court reference to Justice Dost Mohammad Khan on occasion of his retirement on Mar 19 and proceedings against Justice Qazi Faez Isa by the Supreme Court’.

Warn they’ll agitate if ‘dead’ case against Justice Faez Isa heard

After brief hearing in his chambers, the CJP recently ordered proceedings into a petition challenging the appointment of Justice Qazi Faez Isa as the Balochistan High Court’s chief justice and his elevation to the Supreme Court.

The joint general body meeting unanimously passed a resolution, which stated: “The lawyers community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa express serious concern and strongly resents the treatment meted out to the Honorable judges of Supreme Court belonging to the smaller provinces. In case the hearing of proceedings in a dead case against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court are not immediately stopped, the lawyers’ community of KP after coordination with the lawyers from all the provinces and all other lawyers bodies will go to the streets.”

It also adopted a resolution stating that members of the PHCBA would arrange a grand convention to welcome former Supreme Court justice, Dost Mohammad Khan, on the PHC’s premises.

The resolution demanded that all institutions and persons representing them remain in their respective limits prescribed by the Constitution.

“Any violation by any person must be brought to book in order to protect and preserve the constitution, for which the Pakistan Bar Council is urgently requested to take immediate and appropriate steps,” it stated.

The meeting urged the Pakistan Bar Council and bar councils of the four provinces to immediately coordinate and convene the All Pakistan Lawyers Conference to chalk out future course of action.

“The lawyers community will work to develop strong bonds amongst the provinces for supremacy of law and constitution in order to strengthen the Federation,” the resolution stated.

The meeting was addressed by Abdul Lateef Afridi, Qazi Mohammad Anwar, Jamal Khattak, Ghulam Nabi, Fazle Wahid Khan and Arbab Mohammad Usman.

The proceedings were conducted by PHCBA general secretary Rehmanullah Khan.

The speakers said the recent events were a matter of concern for the people in general and lawyers in particular.

They said the political dispute between Imran Khan and Sharif family, both hailing from Punjab, had unfortunately turned into a conflict between the Supreme Court and Sharifs.

The speakers said the CJP had been giving unwarranted statements and had been unnecessarily visiting hospitals by assuming the role of executive in the garb of suo moto notices, which was quite unusual.

They added that the chief justice had made it a routine to respond to the criticism of some political circles.

The speakers said over and above all that, the Supreme Court itself became a victim of the feud.

They said on retirement, Supreme Court Justice Dost Mohammad declined to attend a reference in his honour for ‘obvious reasons’.

They claimed that remarks of another sitting judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, in Sheikh Rashid’s case made the chief justice reopen a ‘dead case’ against him and that both the judges were Pakhtuns, competent and vocal judges and vastly respected.

The speakers said the crossing of constitutional limits had gone unchecked in the country.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2018