ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday adjourned the hearing of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition challenging the presidential reference filed against him over alleged non-disclosure of assets in his wealth statement till Wednesday.
A ten-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the case regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
The reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa alleges that he acquired three properties in London on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015, but did not disclose them in wealth returns.
During the course of proceedings, Advocate Babar Sattar counsel for Justice Qazi Faez Isa said Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the incumbent chief justice of Pakistan and chief justice-in-waiting during a gathering the other day said there was a double standard of law for the haves and have nots.
He had pleaded them to bring reforms in judicial system in a bid to provide justice to all on equality basis, the counsel added.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the counsel not to use this forum for such political talks as no institution was perfect. “Every organization has the potential for improvement,” he added.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said Justice Qazi Faez Isa did not give any gifts to his wife and children while the counsel was still giving arguments regarding gifts.
Advocate Sattar said the reference had not mentioned why Justice Qazi Faez Isa did not disclose assets? He said Justice Qazi Faez Isa as a lawyer also paid taxes. It was not alleged that he was not able to buy the London flats, he added.
He said if his client had the intention of hiding London flats, he could have made offshore companies. Justice Umar Ata Bandial said Justice Faez Isa was not accused of corruption as a judge.
Advocate Sattar said there was no proof any clue that the London assets were owned by Justice Faez Isa.
Justice Yahya Afridi asked the counsel whether the children of Justice Qazi Faez Isa hold the official passport.
Munir A Malik said both children had Spanish passports.
Adv Sattar said according to official documents, the London flats were in use of Justice Isa’s wife.
Referring to the Panama case, the counsel said according to the Panama decision, Maryam Nawaz was not dependent on his father. Nawaz Sharif was not obliged to disclose Maryam’s assets as she was not her dependent, he added.
He said Justice Qazi Faez was not seeking protection under Article 209. He said his client wanted tax authorities to inquire into allegations.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said Article 209 was not only a protection but also a privilege.