Justice Faez Isa to file review petition against FBR probe

Pakistan Bar Council too will move Supreme Court: Abid Saqi says no hope of transparent inquiry by FBR facing government pressure

By: News Desk      Published: 11:54 AM, 20 Jun, 2020
Justice Faez Isa to file review petition against FBR probe

Justice Faez Isa has decided to file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s decision to send the matter of his wife and children's properties to the FBR (Federal Bureau of Revenue).

According to 24NewsHD TV channel, it’s not just Justice Faez Isa but the Pakistan Bar Council is also going to challenge the verdict issued by the apex court on Friday.

The lawyers representing Justice Faez Isa are in consultations over the review petition issue, as their client and his wife have opposed the move of sending the matter to the FBR.

Talking about the issue, Pakistan Bar Council Vice-Chairman Abid Saqi told 24NewsHD TV channel that they would file a review petition after the Supreme Court issued the detailed judgment in the case. There was no hope of a transparent probe by the FBR facing the government pressure, he added.

Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court unanimously declared the presidential reference filed against Justice Faez Isa null and void, saying it was based upon mala fide intentions and the Assets Recovery Unit did not have any authority to investigate the matter.

The court said the detailed verdict would be announced later, as it accepted the applications filed by Justice Faez and others.

The Supreme Court also declared the show-cause notice issued to Justice Faez by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). However, three judges – Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah – wrote dissenting notes, as they were against sending the matter to the FBR.

However, the short order said the FBR should issue notices to Justice Faez Isa’s wife separately for the three properties. Later, the FBR chairman would have to inform the Supreme Court registrar himself within 100 days and the Supreme Judicial Council SJC can take action, if required, after that. 

And this the reason why Justice Faez Isa and the Pakistan Bar Council are planning to a file review petitions.

Talking to 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday, Abid Saqi had said that the presidential reference was an attempt to subjugate and harass not only a judge but also the entire judiciary.

He said the collection of images and information through secret means and spying as surveillance was illegal and unconstitutional.

Similarly, senior lawyer Hamid Khan told reporters outside the Supreme Court building that it was a day of victory for the unity among the lawyers’ community.

On Thursday, the wife of Justice Faez had given the money trail and other details of how she had bought properties in London and said that his husband had nothing to do with that. 

During the hearing on Friday, when Malik questioned whether we want a law under which one institution spies on another, Justice Yahya Afridi asked him if the basic rights of a judge are more important than his oath.

Malik was of the view that the court should not consider the application as a petition concerning the rights of an individual.

The applicant’s counsel also said that the prime minister did not have powers to establish another agency or organisation. Changes in rules were necessary before the formation of Assets Recovery Unit and its ToRs were against the law, he added.

An organisation like Assets Recovery Unit cannot be established without proper legislation, argued Malik.

When Justice Afridi asked him why his client moved the apex court after the show-cause notice issued by the SJC, the senior lawyer said the Council could not provide the relief required by Justice Faez. 

Farogh Naseem had said that Justice Faez was late in moving the Supreme Court but actually it was the government counsel who boarded the wrong bus, he remarked.

The government moved the SJC instead of consulting the FBR, Malik said and added that Justice Faez had challenged the reference to protect his honour and also that of the judiciary.

Similarly, the representatives of different bar council, which had filed applications in favour of Justice Faez, described the presidential reference as illegal and based upon ill intentions.