Justice Isa trying to hide behind independent judiciary, Farogh Naseem tells SC
The Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourned the hearing in case against the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa in relation to his assets in London till tomorrow (Thursday) after another day of grilling of former law minister Farogh Naseem, who is representing the Federation in the case.
A ten-member larger SC bench 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 resumed the hearings Wednesday.
During the arguments the government’s counsel Farogh Naseem claimed that the Federal Bureau of Revenue did not begin inquiry against Justice Isa, out of fear.
Naseem said Justice Qazi Faiz Issa resorted to hiding behind independent judiciary instead of responding to the allegations in the Supreme Judicial Council.
Naseem said that in 2019, Waheed Dogar sent the complaint to the Assets Recovery Unit and wrote a letter as well regarding the properties in London.
“Tell us, who gave permission to Dogar to conduct inquiry into the matter?” said Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, asking how the ARU launched an inquiry in the issue.
Naseem responded that the ARU has the support of the law, and after 1988, the record of every property in London is open.
Justice Atta Bandiyal said the apex court judge is not facing an allegation of corruption, but of not revealing his assets in London. “Justice Isa’s wife and children also didn’t declare the London property,” said the government’s counsel.
Naseem continued that despite the judge hailing from an affluent family, the record does not show agricultural tax on the land. “Why did the FBR not take action in the case?” said Justice Maqbool Baqir.
“The FBR was scared if they acted against a judge, they will be facing legal action,” said Naseem.
Replying to a query raised by a judge, Naseem said that judge's children can't take advantage of tax amnesty scheme. Upon which Justice Maqbool Baqir said that is a case of tax evasion. Naseem added that Justice Qazi Faez Issa's wife did not file record of paying agricultural land tax.
Justice Yahya Afridi stated what information did the President have when he decided on the reference? Justice Maqbool Baqir stated that the President himself did not get the information regarding the reference.