PBC vice chairman asks SC to rethink order on Justice Isa

Published February 16, 2021
PBC vice chairman urged the Supreme Court to review its order of barring Justice Qazi Faez Isa from hearing cases concerning the premier. — Photo courtesy Supreme Court website/File
PBC vice chairman urged the Supreme Court to review its order of barring Justice Qazi Faez Isa from hearing cases concerning the premier. — Photo courtesy Supreme Court website/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) vice chairman Khush Dil Khan on Monday urged the Supreme Court to review its Feb 11 order of barring Justice Qazi Faez Isa from hearing cases concerning Prime Minister Imran Khan.

It is in the larger interest of the smooth functioning of the Supreme Court and for safeguarding the independence of its judges for discharging their constitutional duties to dispense justice that the order should be reviewed, said the vice chairman in a statement.

In view of the importance and significance of the matter, Khush Dil Khan also proposed convening of a PBC meeting at an early date to discuss the situation.

On Feb 11 a five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had issued an order requiring Justice Isa not to hear matters involving PM Khan, considering that he had already filed a petition against the prime minister in his personal capacity.

The directions were issued during the hearing of the proposed plan to distribute Rs500 million uplift funds among the PTI legislators after which the Supreme Court order came stating to uphold the principle of un-biasness and impartiality, it would be in the interest of justice that Justice Isa should not hear matters involving the prime minister.

A statement on behalf of the prime minister, however, had dubbed the media reports as incorrect.

Later on Feb 12, Justice Isa wrote a letter to the Supreme Court’s registrar questioning why the Feb 11 order was not shared with him before releasing it to the media and dubbed the entire event as shocking.

In a one-page letter Justice Isa had also inquired why the order/judgement was not sent to him and why the settled practice of sending it to the next senior judge was not followed.

The copies of the letter were also dispatched to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and all the judges of the Supreme Court.

Justice Isa also questioned why was the order released to the media before he read it, let alone had the opportunity to sign it in agreement/disagreement and who ordered its release to the media. Justice Isa also asked the SC’s registrar to provide him the case file so that he could finally read the order/judgement.

Khush Dil Khan expressed concern over barring Justice Isa from taking up cases against the PM without consulting the judge himself and even without circulating the same to him for his views and signatures and subsequently, not making him part of any bench of the Supreme Court for hearing court cases and instead confining him to do only chamber work.

“I, therefore, urge upon the Supreme Court for reviewing its action, as aforementioned, in the larger interest of smooth functioning of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and for safeguarding independence of its Hon’ble Judges for discharging their constitutional duties to dispense justice,” Mr Khush Dil Khan said.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2021

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