SC rules misread before filing of ‘curative review plea’ in Isa case, says registrar

Published May 28, 2021
This file photo shows Justice Qazi Faez Isa. — SC website/File
This file photo shows Justice Qazi Faez Isa. — SC website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court registrar’s office, while returning the government’s “curative review petition” in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case on Wednesday, ruled that the federation had misconceived the Supreme Court Rules of 1980 when it moved a set of five petitions.

In its order, the institutional branch of the Supreme Court explained that the “curative review petition” was an application which provides information to initiate “suo motu” proceedings under Articles 184(3), 187, 188 and 189 of the Constitution, read with Orders 26 and 33 of the Supreme Court rules.

The president, the prime minister, the law minister, PM’s adviser Shahzad Akbar and the Federal Board of Revenue are among the petitioners.

The objection by the court’s office explained that the present case amounted to a second review petition. It was thus not entertainable under Order 36, Rule 9 of the Supreme Court rules, which states that after the final disposal of the first application for review, no subsequent application for review will lie to the court and consequently will not be entertained by the registry.

Meanwhile, the vice chairman of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Khushdil Khan, and the chairman of PBC’s executive committee, Muhammad Faheem Wali, have cautioned the government against filing another review petitions against the April 26 judgement in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case. “The legal fraternity will not hesitate to launch a countrywide agitation to oppose the government’s attempt tooth and nail.”

Khushdil Khan and Faheem Wali condemned the government’s decision to file the curative review petition, saying the objections raised by the registrar’s office were valid.

In a statement, the Pakistan Bar Council alleged that the role, conduct and activities of the president, the prime minister and the federal law minister were aimed at undermining the independence of the judiciary and the democratic process.

The Pakistan Bar Council said it would not allow the government to succeed in its “nefarious design to target the independent judiciary”.

The registrar’s office had stated in its objection that “suo motu case” had been mentioned on the title page of the petitions, but in the subject column it was referred to as the “curative review petition”.

The government, while filing a set of five petitions, had moved a separate application seeking two weeks for filing of paper books, but after an initial scrutiny, the registrar found the petitions to be suffering from a number of deficiencies.

Moreover, the power of attorney of the petitioners, namely the president and others in favour of the advocate on record, were not properly executed, the registrar observed. “Scandalous language was used on five occasions in various pages of the petitions.”

The petitioner failed to issue proper notices to the respondents, including Justice Isa, while filing the petitions and hence the request for more time cannot be granted and the case was being returned in its original form, the registrar’s office stated.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

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