Justice Faez Eesa returns as victorious, SC rejects presidential reference

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ISLAMABAD (ENNS/ MD) The Supreme Court of Pakistan here on Friday dismissed the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa in the Supreme Judicial Council and accepted his petition seeking the reference’s dismissal.

The reference was filed 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.
A ten-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the case, reserving the verdict before it was announced after 4pm.
The case was wrapped up after Justice Isa’s spouse provided the money trail pertaining to her foreign properties and the Federal Board of Revenue provided its input on the matter.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Munir A Malik, concluded his arguments in court by saying that the federation had “gotten on the wrong bus” in the case.
The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had initiated the proceedings against Justice Isa on allegations that he purchased three properties in London in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015 — but did not allegedly disclose them in wealth returns declared in Pakistan.
Malik urged the court to dismiss the reference against the judge. He said that a website had been used to search for properties in London. The lawyer told the court that if one wanted to search properties in London, he/she had to pay for the privilege.
He said that the website sends a payment receipt to the relevant person who uses it to search for properties, via email. He said that British-Pakistani lawyer Zia ul Mustafa, who had searched for Justice Isa’s alleged assets, had received three copies of the high commission’s verified properties.
“Copies of politicians’ properties searched were attached as well [in documents submitted],” he said. “If the government provides receipts as well then it will be revealed as to who searched for the properties,” he added.
Malik said that if the search for the properties was conducted by the Asset Recovery Unit, then it should provide receipts. He said that it seemed as if the ARU had only facilitated the search.
“The government only wants to remove the author of the Faizabad dharna case,” noted Malik.

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