Supreme Court's Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday maintained that Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) members former top judge Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed were biased against him.
A 10-judge larger bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial took up a review petition against the apex court's June 19 order wherein the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was directed to proceed against the undeclared properties of Justice Isa's family members.
During the hearing, Justice Isa accused SJC members, especially former CJ Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed, of being biased against him.
“Justice [retd] Khosa stabbed me in the back. Azmat Saeed was my friend. I was saddened at his decision,” he added.
Read more: SC quashes presidential reference against Justice Isa
He also elaborated as to how the SJC held meetings during summer vacations and he was asked to submit a written response on the presidential reference.
Later, the SJC's opinion on the complaint against him was uploaded on Supreme Court’s website.
Justice Munib Akhtar, however, asked him as to why he was arguing on the issue of biasedness against the SJC as both judges had already retired.
On this, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah asked Justice Isa as to whether or not he was saying that he had approached the Supreme Court against the SJC and now again referring his matter to the council.
On one occasion, Justice Munib in a loud voice asked Justice Isa not to attribute to him anything which he had not said.
“You are here to assist the court and respond to the queries of the bench,” he added.
Justice Isa complained that the SC had not taken coercive action against former attorney general for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan over his statement that one or two members of the bench had helped him in drafting his petition.
Justice Bandial told him that he was unaware about the facts as Anwar had resigned.
“You are annoying the bench,” Bandial added.
Justice Isa replied that the government had forced Anwar to resign as the apex court had neither issued a contempt notice to him or sent him behind bars.
Justice Bandial told him that it was not their job to send people to jail as they only decided cases.
Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik urged Justice Isa that he should act like a counsel and save his time.
Another judge Justice Maqbool Baqar also urged him to focus on the core issues in his review petition.
At the start of the proceedings of the first hearing of his review petition, Justice Isa apologised to his wife and other family members for the hardships they were facing because of him.
The SC judge, however, said he would fight till the end.
He added that he was being removed due to his ruling in Faizabad dharna case.
“Tehreek-e-Labbaik leader Khadim Rizvi did not file a review against the judgment. However, others including the PTI and the MQM, which were part of the government, filed review petitions against the verdict,” he pointed out.
Justice Isa also wondered as to why the review petitions against thr Faizabad dharna judgment were not being fixed for the last two years.
The judge agreed with the first part of the SC's June 19, 2020 order wherein the reference was quashed.
However, he raised objections on the second part wherein the matter was referred to the FBR for inquiry.
Justice Isa claimed that the order dud not come under the purview of Article 184 (3) and Article 175 (2) of the Constitution.
Likewise, it was in violation of Article 25 of the Constitution by referring only members of his family to the FBR for inquiry.
The SC judge also criticised Accountability Adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar’s role as the chairman of the Assets Recovery Unit.
Upon this, Justice Bandial urged him to refrain from passing such statements against government functionaries.
During the hearing, Justice Isa said that unlike Prime Minister Imran Khan, his family had not established offshore companies to hide their properties.
Addressing Justice Bandial, the judge complained that the premier’s matter was not referred to the FBR.
The hearing later was adjourned until Monday. One member of the bench, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, is retiring on April 30.
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)