Time to move on

Published May 28, 2021

THE government has attempted to file a petition in the Supreme Court, invoking an unheard of legal remedy, to challenge the apex court’s judgement on the review petition in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case. Now the petition, filed under the term ‘curative review petition’ has been returned by the Supreme Court registrar office on the grounds that a second review petition could not be filed to challenge a decision that had come on a review petition.

This petition was moved on behalf of the federation but the attorney general has distanced himself from the pleas saying he was not in the picture. A spokesman of the law ministry, however, said the petition would be filed again after addressing the registrar office’s objections.

Senior lawyers have also opined that such a petition does not hold much legal weight once the Supreme Court has already issued a judgement on the review petition of Justice Isa. It is therefore surprising that the government is insisting on pursuing the matter against Justice Isa when the court has clearly stated that the case built by the government against him has no legal standing.

Read: Who is Justice Qazi Faez Isa?

Since the court took up the case almost every aspect of the allegations against him have been dissected threadbare and every feasible piece of evidence has been examined in great detail. Justice Isa and his wife have presented whatever paper trail was required of them while the government’s legal team also got full opportunity to build a case against the judge.

These exhaustive proceedings have finally led to a decision in Justice Isa’s review petition by a 10-member bench. The judgement clearly exonerates the judge of all charges. This should be the end of the matter, not just because it brings to a close the legal process, but also due to the fact that it has exacted a heavy cost on the institution of the judiciary itself.

It is heartening that the highest court in the land opened itself up for accountability, but now that the decision is final, the sad chapter should stand closed.

This is why it is inadvisable for the government to rake up the matter. The move smacks of desperation, whereas it is now time for acceptance. The government should let the matter rest and move on. No one benefits if the judiciary is dragged back into a public controversy that has run its legal course.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

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