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SC declares reference against Qazi Faez Isa ‘unconstitutional’

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Friday issued the detailed verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case and declared Presidential reference sent against apex court judge as unconstitutional, ARY News reported.

The Supreme Court (SC) on June 19, dismissed the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa after declaring it ‘invalid’.

The detailed verdict released by the apex court nullified the presidential reference against Justice Isa and termed the reference as a violation of the law and the Constitution.

Read: Letter to President: London properties owned by children, says Justice Faez Isa

“Justice is an article of faith in our religion, whether that may be against our kith and kin or against the rich or poor,” Justice Umar Ata Bandia wrote in opening remarks of the detailed judgment issued today.

“However, justice is an abstract concept attainable only where the scales of justice are held by persons (the Judges) who balance these equitably without regard to their personal desires. Indeed, the latter is the duty of the Superior Judiciary by virtue of their Oath to dispense justice without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will (ref: Third Schedule to the Constitution, Oath for Judges of the Superior Courts).

“In fact, an impartial and independent judiciary is universally recognised as a core value of any civilised democracy. This is evidenced by the international conventions that protect this value as a fundamental right of the people (ref: United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of Judiciary and The (Montreal) Universal Declaration on the Independence of Justice).”

The judgment 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 verdict read.

According to a judgment, there was no evidence or a previous offence recorded against Justice Isa to support the allegation of money laundering brought against him

“There was no evidence that Justice Isa had violated the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and even the relevant provisions from the said law were not specified in the Reference.”

“The President received inadmissible advice from the AG and Law Minister, the chief architects of the Reference, on the strengths and weaknesses of the Reference.”

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.

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