ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday was informed that President Dr Arif Alvi had violated his oath by signing the misconduct reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa since the documents of his alleged properties had been obtained illegally.
A 10-member larger SC bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the case regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Isa.
The reference filed against Justice 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, Rasheed A Rizvi, counsel for the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA), said that he wanted to submit some documents.
Justice Bandial asked about the types of documents. Rizvi responded that he wanted to submit some judgments of the Sindh High Court (SHC). The president and the prime minister had taken an oath to protect the Constitution, he added.
Justice Faisal Arab asked whether the president and the SJC could take action on media reports against the judge. In response, Rizvi claimed that the president did not read newspapers.
He said that there had been a change in the SJC as Justice Umar Atta Bandial had now become its part.
Rizvi alleged that the president had not applied his judicial mind as he sent the reference to the SJC on the prime minister’s recommendations, he added.
Justice Bandial said that the president had to apply only his mind, not the judicial mind.
Rizvi alleged that the president did not even apply his non-judicial mind. Any inquiry other than the ones conducted by the president and the SJC would be illegal, he added.
He said that illegally obtained documents had no legality as the superior judiciary had laid down rules in that regard in customs and income tax cases.
Rizvi said that the Asset Recovery Unit was an illegal body. The illegally submitted content could not be processed under Article 209. The Asset Recovery Unit could not get authority itself, and if that was the case then in future station house officers (SHO) would also start proceedings against the judges.
He said that the president signed the reference and violated the oath.
Justice Bandial asked whether the president could exercise any option other than forwarding a piece of of advice. The complaint against the judge was sent to the president by the government, he added.
Rizvi alleged that the prime minister’s advice was malicious.
Justice Bandial observed that the SJC was an independent body.
The court then adjourned the hearing of Justice Isa’s petition challenging the presidential reference till Tuesday.