SC accepts Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s review petitions

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday accepted the review petitions of Justice Qazi Faez Isa challenging the court’s judgement on the presidential reference against him.

The apex court accepted the petitions with a 6-4 majority verdict,

A 10-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial, was hearing the identical review petitions against the court’s June 19, 2020, judgement, referring the matter to the Federal Board of Revenue, directing to initiate tax proceedings against the spouse of Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Qazi Ameen disagreed with the majority verdict.

While the judges Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi accepted the petitions against the top court’s June 2020 order include.

Justice Yahya Afridi also wrote a dissenting note.

The actions taken by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other institutions in the matter were declared as “illegal” by the apex court.

The judgement stated that the FBR’s report could not be challenged in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) or any other legal forum.

Presidential reference

A presidential reference was filed against Justice Isa that alleged he had 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 his wealth returns. Justice Isa contested the allegation, saying he was not a beneficial owner of the flats — either directly or indirectly.

In June 2020, the Supreme Court rejected the reference terming it “invalid”.

However, seven of the 10 judges on the bench hearing the case ordered the FBR to seek explanations from the judge’s wife and children on the nature and source of funding for three properties in their names in the United Kingdom.

The SJC had initiated the proceedings over Justice Isa’s alleged non-disclosure in wealth returns of three London properties acquired on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015.