ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court (SC) that it is up to the Supreme Judicial Council to determine whether SC Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s actions come under misconduct or not.
A full-court bench of the Supreme Court 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 was hearing Justice Isa’s petitions challenging the presidential reference against him.
While presenting the government’s defence, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan said the level of honesty expected of a judge was more than that of an ordinary citizen. He added that it was up to the SJC to decide on Justice Isa’s misconduct and not the SC.
“The judges are responsible for dispensing justices through their courts and if any accusations are leveled against them then it is the responsibility of the SJC to look into the matter,” he said.
Khan went on to add that Justice Isa had admitted the properties were owned by his family member and filed the petition seeking to quash the presidential reference on technical grounds.
Justice Shah asked the attorney general how the evidence against the top court judge was collected and to explain the legality of the procedure.
When the AGP cited the presidential reference which stated that Justice Isa had violated Section 116 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 by failing to disclose properties owned by his family members on his wealth statement, Justice Bandial observed that the violation was already thrashed out by the petitioner and directed Khan to relay other obligations.
The attorney general while reading out the oath taken by the judges said that the judicial officers are bound to obey the code of conduct.
He said that the apex court judge has admitted that the London properties are owned by his wife and children. He further asked as to how an inquiry into undeclared assets could come under the spying definition.
He also raised questions over the role of the executive in case it receives any information against an incumbent judge and asked if it should carry out a probe into the matter or not.
The government’s attorney in the case also raised queries regarding the decision from the judge facing accusations to challenge proceedings of the judicial council after receiving a show-cause notice.
Earlier on Monday, in a related development, senior counsel Munir Malik, who represents Justice Isa, submitted a synopsis in line with a previous court directive and requested for quashing the proceedings before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Isa.
He also called for initiating a contempt case against all concerned and for action against all those who carried out surveillance of Justice Isa and his family.