Sarina Isa and counsels press ahead with objection on SC bench formation
Sarina Isa – the wife of Supreme Court Justice Faez Isa – on Tuesday raised serious objections over the formation of six-member bench to hear the review petition concerning the presidential reference case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
As a six-member larger bench heard the matter, Sarina also requested that the tax returns of Prime Minister Imran Khan, law ministers and other respondents as well as their family members should also be sought.
She argued that the Supreme Court rules stipulated that the bench issuing the original judgment would also hear the appeal for a review. Removing the three honourable members from the bench adversely impacted her rights, she maintained.
Moreover, she said how Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed could decide about their future as a chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council when he remained part of the case.
But her statement about the mechanism and the chief justice irked Justice Bandial who remarked that she was like a family member and respected person but she should show restraint when talking about the Supreme Court and the chief justice.
Although he admitted that a six-member bench cannot overturn the seven-member bench’s decision, he observed that they were hearing an application against the bench’s formation, not the review petition. The chief justice had left the issue of full court bench up to the court, Justice Bandial remarked.
Meanwhile, Sarina also raised objection over the dissenting notes and said the three judges too issue their judgment without hearing her. “I want to know why my husband and I were targeted,” she questioned.
According to her, only she and her husband had shown their assets in the entire judiciary. The income tax law was used to target Justice Faez.
On the other hand, Munir A Malik – the counsel for Justice Faez – noted that the seven-member bench sentencing former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had also heard the review petition.
When Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked whether the dissenting notes were also part of the judgment, Malik replied it was the very point he was arguing. It had not been mentioned anywhere in the Constitution whether the Supreme Court would review the majority or minority judgment, he argued.
Rashid A Rizvi, who is representing the Sindh High Court Bar Association in the case, too stressed that only the original bench could hear the review petition. Judiciary’s image would be badly damaged if anything was done against the law and court verdicts, he added.
Justice Bandial remarked that they were very careful as the issue pertained to an honourable judge of Supreme Court.
About Justice Faez, he said the judge wasn’t an accused and did not have any allegation against him. Many things happened in the case which hurt them, he added.
Giving more time to Supreme Court Bar Association President Latif Afridi for preparations, the apex court adjourned the hearing till December 10.