28 February 2021
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Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed will decide on the size of the bench that would hear the review petition against the judgement in the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, the Supreme Court said Monday.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial read the verdict that was reserved on December 10.

Justice Isa, his wife Sarina Isa and members of bar councils had challenged the hearing of review petition by a six-member bench. They said that a larger bench heard the case.

The court, in its order, said that the chief justice has the authority to make a bench to hear review petitions. The chief justice can constitute a larger bench or allow the same one to take up the review petitions, it said, adding that the judge who authored the original judgement must be included in the bench.

If the judge that authored the judgement remains unavailable, then the judge who agreed to the judgment shall be included in the review bench, the court ruled.

Justice Isa and his wife had challenged the Supreme Court’s order on the presidential reference seeking the removal of the Supreme Court judge for failing to disclose the foreign properties of his family members in his wealth statement.

On June 19, 2020 the top court quashed the reference and declared the show-cause notice issued to the judge by the Supreme Judicial Council null and void.

The court, however, ordered the FBR to issue appropriate notices to the judge’s family and children under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

Three judges, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi, wrote dissenting notes. To read what they had to say, click here.

Justice Isa case

On June 2, 2019 the government confirmed that a presidential reference had been filed in the Supreme Judicial Council against the judge for owning foreign assets. Justice Isa has been accused of misconduct over failure to declare his wife and children’s UK properties. According to the judge, his wife and children have on their names three properties in the W2, E10, and E11 areas of London.

Justice Isa challenged the reference in the top court. He asked that the reference should be quashed and PM’s Assets Recovery Unit be termed null and void. He even asked for action to be taken against Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar.

Sarina Isa, the wife of Justice Isa, revealed on Thursday the details of her London properties to the Supreme Court while recording her statement via a video link. She even submitted her money trail, tax records, bank documents, and property papers to the court.

She revealed that she bought one property for £23,600 in 2004, another for £270,000, which is under her and her daughter’s name, and the third one for £245,000 in 2013. Her son lives in one of the properties and has put the other two on rent.

Justice Isa, who is in line to become the chief justice of Pakistan, has accused in a petition the PTI government of spying on him to discover his family’s properties.

Abdul Gh Lone