SC declares presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa invalid

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ISLAMABAD, OCT 23 (DNA) – Supreme Court of Pakistan Friday dismissed the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa illegal and declared it invalid.

According to detailed verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, the top court nullified the presidential reference against Justice Isa besides ordering Inland Revenue Commissioner to issue a notice to the judge’s family members including his wife and children within seven days to seek details of his properties.

The judgement stated that the presidential reference filed against Justice Isa was in violation of the law and the Constitution. “…the worthy President grossly failed to exercise his discretion as mandated under the Constitution and, thus, the entire process built thereon leading to the filing of the Reference was in violation of the law and the Constitution,” the detailed verdict read.

An 11-page short order was also released by the top court which nullified the presidential reference against Justice Isa besides ordering Inland Revenue Commissioner to issue a notice to the judge’s family members including his wife and children within seven days to seek details of his properties.

“No authorisation to investigate the affairs of the petitioner was given by the President and PM. Instead the authorisation of the Law Minister was obtained,” said the Supreme Court while explaining the flaws in the reference against Justice Faez. “As there was no valid authorization for the investigation (noted in above), the respondents illegally accessed the tax records of the petitioner and Mrs Isa.”

The judgment stated that President Arif Alvi received admissible advice from the chief architects of the reference, including the attorney-general of Pakistan and the law minister, but he didn’t get “fair” and “objective” advice from a third party on the questions of law noted in the reference.

The President failed to notice the various legal and procedural defects in the reference,” said the court. “These illegal acts of the respondents (the government functionaries) depict their utter disregard of the law,” read the judgment.

According to the judgment, the reference against Justice Isa “is not patently motivated with malice in fact, the scale and degree of the illegalities are such that the Reference is deemed to be tainted with mala fide in law.”

According to the judgment, the court’s decision to direct the Federal Board of Revenue to commence tax proceedings against Sarina Isa and her children was based on two grounds: to establish that Judges of the Superior Court are answerable for allegations casting aspersions not only on their personal integrity but also on the integrity of the institution; and to honour the petitioner’s plea that the allegation of the absence of source of funds and money laundering must be first put to Sarina Isa, who is an independent taxpayer.

The apex court said its decision to refer the case to the FBR was taken keeping in view the petitioner’s (Justice Isa) plea that his wife and children should be asked about their source of funds for the acquisition of their London properties. = DNA

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