Reference against Justice Isa filed without constitutional authority, SC told


–Justice Isa’s counsel asks court to lay down parameters about judges’ privacy

Muneer A Malik, the counsel for Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Tuesday told the Supreme Court (SC) that the presidential reference against the apex court judge was filed without jurisdiction and constitutional authority.

Addressing the full bench of the SC when it resumed hearing on the petitions against the presidential reference, Malik said that the president had acted not acted in accordance with Article-209 of the Constitution as he did not form an “independent opinion” before sending the reference.

Moreover, he said, that every breach of law does not constitute violation of the judges’ code of conduct. “The president should use discretion in filing references as the power to send a reference is unique,” he added.

Malik also questioned the role of Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem in filing presidential reference against Justice Isa. He added that the law minister bypassed the cabinet and sent the summary directly to the prime minister.

Even Dr Naseem directed the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) to inquire about Justice Isa and his family after filing the presidential reference. The law minister also issued a press statement about the filing of the presidential reference,” he further said.

Justice Isa’s counsel urged the apex court to lay down parameters or guidelines what the executive should do and should not do so that the privacy of judges and their families is not compromised.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, however, disagreed with the arguments of Justice Isa’s counsel and noted that after the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment, president discretion was wiped out.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah asked, “If any government department like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) finds out any irregularity of any judge how will it pass on information to the president.”

The hearing of the case was adjourned until Wednesday.