The PM has ordered that the “baseless” curative review against Justice be withdrawn. Isa Shehbaz has stated that the reference in question is not only “baseless,” but that it was also “filed on weak and political grounds.”
While the government has chosen not to pursue the issue further, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday ordered the removal of the curative review referral against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the senior-most judge on the Supreme Court.
The choice has already received approval from the federal cabinet.
According to a formal statement released by the Prime Minister Office, “The Prime Minister has authorized Law Minister Senator Azam Nazir Tarar to drop the curative review referral against Judge Qazi Faiz Isa.”
The administration has chosen to drop its lawsuit against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the senior-most judge on the Supreme Court, on my instruction. The purpose of the curative review, which was ordered by Imran Niazi, was to annoy and threaten the honorable Judge.
The premier said in the statement that Judge Isa and his family had been persecuted and slandered in the guise of a presidential referral.
On directing to reopen the case, PM Shehbaz stated, “This was not a reference; it was a vengeful action by [ex-PM] Imran Niazi against a fair-minded judge who followed the way of the Constitution and the law.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and affiliated parties have denounced the “false reference,” he said, even during the opposition era, calling the filing of the reference “a devious scheme to disrupt the independence of the Judiciary and divide it.”
President Arif Alvi “become an instrument in the attack on the Judiciary and an accomplice to a falsehood,” Shehbaz said, adding that “Imran Niazi exploited the constitutional authority of President for this criminal crime.”
He insisted that the Pakistan Bar Council and other legal organizations had also voiced their opposition, noting that the government respected their viewpoint.
Judge Isa and Justice K K Agha, both judges on the Sindh High Court, were brought before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on May 23, 2019, by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government for failing to disclose their families’ overseas assets in their wealth declarations.
However in June 2020, the Supreme Court struck down both the presidential reference made against Judge Isa and the SJC procedures that had been initiated as a result of the reference.
The brief order had said, “Reference No. 1 of 2019 is determined to be of no legal significance whatsoever and is quashed, and as a result, the actions continuing in the SJC against the petitioner [Justice Isa], including the show-cause notice dated 17.07.2019 issued to him, are abated.”
After hearing for more than six months a number of petitions filed against the reference that said Judge Isa had engaged in misconduct by failing to disclose the properties owned by his family members in the UK in his wealth declaration, a 10-judge full court handed down the decision.
It’s interesting to note that former prime minister Imran Khan acknowledged the error of submitting a presidential recommendation for Judge Isa’s dismissal in April 2022. During a meeting with the members of the Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF), he had admitted his “error.”