Justice Isa seeks live broadcast of hearings of review petitions

Published December 5, 2020
Justice Qazi Faez Isa has requested the Supreme Court to order live broadcast of the hearings of the review petitions against the judgement in the case pertaining to the presidential reference against him. — Dawn/File
Justice Qazi Faez Isa has requested the Supreme Court to order live broadcast of the hearings of the review petitions against the judgement in the case pertaining to the presidential reference against him. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa has requested the Supreme Court to order live broadcast of the hearings of the review petitions against the judgement in the case pertaining to the presidential reference against him and accused a number of aides of Prime Minister Imran Khan of possessing properties abroad.

In a petition filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Isa again rebutted that he owned any offshore properties in London but alleged that many distinguished functionaries of the government owned foreign properties.

The petition however hastened to add that the petitioner did not have any idea whether these individuals had disclosed these properties in Pakistani tax returns or even if they had filed such returns because a cloak of secrecy had been cast allegedly by the prime minister on all those in his government.

Accuses several associates of PM of owning properties abroad

According to the petitioner, those who allegedly possess properties abroad are Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari who owns a flat in London; Yar Mohammad Rind who owns a residential villa and an apartment in UAE; Nadeem Babar who has a house in Texas, US; Dr Shahbaz Gill who has a house in US, retd Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa who owns 13 commercial and five residential properties in the US which have been shown in the name of his wife; Mirza Shahzad Akbar who has a London property in his name and a flat in Spain in the name of his spouse; Faisal Vawda who has nine properties in London, Dubai and Malaysia, and Usman Dar who owns a property in Birmingham, West Midlands.

The petition said that the detailed reasons of the Supreme Court judgement in the Justice Isa case stated that there was a “stigma in Pakistan, that these assets [three London properties of Justice Isa’s wife] have been acquired unlawfully” and this claim probably prompted the official respondents to submit the presidential reference against Justice Isa to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

However, the petitioner clarified that he did not own nor had ever owned any property outside Pakistan.

On the other hand, the prime minister who advised the president to submit the reference against him admittedly owned a property in London and so did his two former wives and his children about whom the prime minister adamantly refused to make disclosure, the petition alleged.

The petition requested the Supreme Court to order that the hearing of the review petitions in the Justice Isa case be broadcast live on television because the official respondents had disclosed confidential matters affecting the petitioner and his family, had them broadcast/published, then carried out a relentless propaganda campaign against them and prohibited the media from broadcasting and publishing his and his family’s version.

The petition also pleaded that Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi, who wrote dissenting notes in the detailed reasons, should not be excluded from the benches hearing the review petitions as well as the present application.

The petition also requested the apex court to revisit paragraphs 3 to 11 of June 19 short order asking the Federal Board of Revenue chairman to furnish a report on the proceedings conducted by the inland revenue commissioner after seeking explanation from the wife and children of Justice Isa about three properties in the UK to the SJC secretary though the majority order had quashed the reference.

On the receipt of the report, the SJC may determine to initiate any action/proceedings for the purposes of Article 209 of the Constitution, in its suo motu jurisdiction, the judgement added.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020

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