Journalists’ body moves SC to review directions in Qazi Faez Isa verdict

 ISLAMABAD             -       Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Tuesday filed a petition before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to review paras 3 to 11 of the apex court’s order dated June 19, in Presidential Reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

 The PFUJ moved the court through senior counsel Rasheed A Rizvi and termed the timelines/deadlines to the Income Tax authorities to proceed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s spouse and children illegal under Section 116 and/or other related provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

 A 10-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial on 19-06-20 had quashed the Presidential Reference against Justice Qazi Faez and held the proceedings before Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) as having abated.

Rasheed A Rizvi, who filed the review petition on behalf of PFUJ, contended that after the 19th June order the SJC has become “functus officio” for the purpose of this case. Therefore how could such a body take notice of any future report against Justice Faez?

 He submitted that under Article 209 of Constitution it is clear that SJC is not a continuing body and is constituted for every individual case that is brought before it. It is on receipt of a Presidential Reference or in case of assumption of suo moto jurisdiction by SJC that the body (SJC) is constituted for a particular case. “This being the case, how could an un-constituted SJC or its Chairman entertain a report,” questioned the journalist body.

He added that it is the constitutional prerogative of SJC to assume suo moto jurisdiction against a judge of superior courts, under its own procedure, on receipt of a valid and substantial complaint. Such jurisdiction cannot be subject to directions by any Court.

Rizvi contended that the SJC also has no jurisdiction to probe or inquire into the assets and properties of the spouse and children of a judge because its jurisdiction is limited to the extent of physical or mental incapacity of a judge or a case of misconduct against a judge. Spouse and children of a judge do not fall within the scope and ambit of exercise of jurisdiction.

He maintained that the wife and children of Justice Qazi Faez are entitled to ‘due process’ before the FBR and other tax authorities as provided under Article 10A of the Constitution. “Giving directions / timelines / deadlines constitute serious inroads being made into the jurisdiction and proceedings by the tax authorities which could adversely affect the rights and protections afforded to the spouse and children of the learned judge by the ‘due process’ under tax law read with Article 10A of the Constitution.

He added that the directions/ observations/contents of paras 3 to 11 are unnecessary, superfluous, contradictory, excessive and unlawful and thus liable to be deleted. The directions/observations/contents of paras 3 to 11 of the Order constitute mistake and error apparent on the face of the record and are thus liable to be reviewed and deleted.

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