SC issues detailed judgment in Justice Isa case
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a 224-page detailed verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case against the Supreme Judicial Council proceedings over presidential reference against him. The 10-member full court bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin had reserved judgment on June 19 on the petitions filed against the presidential reference that claimed that Justice Isa had committed misconduct by not disclosing his family members’ properties in the United Kingdom in his wealth statement. In the split verdict, announced by the presiding judge Umar Ata Bandial on June 19, seven out of the ten judges referred the matter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for initiating tax proceedings against Justice Isa’s spouse and children for not disclosing their UK properties to the tax authorities while filing their returns. The bench had also set aside the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) proceedings that were started on the basis of the reference. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who wrote the judgment, stated that justice was an article of faith in “our religion, whether that might be against our kith and kin or against the rich or poor”. The judgment said: “The short order of the apex court had preserved the rights of the affected taxpayers, Mrs Isa and her children, under the Ordinance and this includes the right to appeal against the decision of the Commissioner or against any other adverse order passed at the appellate stage. To our minds, the two directions, namely, the filing of the report by the Chairman FBR before the SJC and the protection of the affected persons right to appeal, issued by us were necessary in the interests of justice. The jurisdiction of the FBR is concerned with taxing income whereas the jurisdiction of the SJC is related only with the misconduct of a Judge. Therefore, the proceedings and/or the outcome before one forum do not affect those of the other forum. However, the SJC may if so inclined in the exercise of its suo motu jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution take into consideration any proceedings before the tax authorities or orders passed by them.” – APP