Judge Issa’s review petition: The Supreme Court sends the larger bench issue to the AKP

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On Monday, the Supreme Court announced its decision on whether the current six-judge court or a larger body will hear a batch of petitions seeking to review the majority ruling issued by the court in Judge Qazi Faiz Issa, and send the matter to Chief Justice Gulzar of Pakistan. Ahmad.

Judge Omar Atta Bendial, who was presiding over the six-judge panel, announced the majority ruling of 5-1. Judge Mansour Ahmed Malik opposed it and would write a dissenting note.

Petitions for review were transmitted by Judge Issa, his wife Sarina Issa, and various union councils, calling for a larger seat to be formed instead of a six-judge panel.

“The president of the court can form a larger judicial body to consider appeals for review if he wishes,” the Supreme Court said, adding that the ruling body usually hears appeals for review.

It also indicated that the jurisdiction of the review can only be invoked in relation to unanimous and majority rulings issued by the Supreme Court.

Judge Pandial said it is mandatory to include the judge who wrote the decision to the review panel and if it is not available, then “the judge who agreed with [court] The system is part of the bench. “

“As a matter of law and established practice, it relates to [honourable chief justice], As Chair of the List, to determine the composition of the podium, and could, for a similar reason, constitute a greater seat for the hearing of the petition.

A panel of six judges chaired by Judge Pandial had reserved the decision at a previous hearing on December 10, 2020.

“My understanding of the court’s rules is that petitions for review are always posted on the same court,” Sarina Issa said, wondering whether it would be possible to hear the review petition after amending these rules.

Judge Pandial noted that the different court rules did not exist independently, but rather must be interpreted harmoniously, indicating that under Order 11 of the Court’s Rules, it was the President of the Court who constituted the tribunal that everyone was supposed to accept. He said at the time: “We will explain this and judge it.”

Sarina replied that the position of President of the Supreme Judicial Council, the Chief Justice was a party to the matter.

“No, it is not like this,” Judge Pandiel said, adding that no one had become a party like this.

Judge Issa was the subject of a presidential reference that claimed he acquired three London properties on rent in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015, but did not disclose them in the proceeds of his fortune. Judge Issa challenged this claim, saying that he was not a beneficial owner of the apartments – either directly or indirectly.

In June 2020, the Supreme Court scrapped the reference, calling it “invalid.”

“[The reference] I declare that it has no legal effect whatsoever and is repealed. ”Read the majority (9-1) short judgment regarding a petition submitted by Judge Issa and others calling for the refusal of the reference.

However, seven of the ten judges in the court that heard the case ordered the Inland Revenue Administration and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to seek explanations from the judge’s wife and children about the nature and source of funding for three properties in their names in the United Kingdom and to report to the SC Registrar.

After that, Judge Isa applied to the Supreme Court requesting a review of the decision. Similar petitions were also filed by bar associations, including the Sind High Court Bar.

A panel of seven judges was set up by the Supreme Court to hear the petitions, but four major bar associations in the country contested this in a joint one-page request and requested that the matter be brought before the AKP to form a larger judicial body that includes all the judges who adjudicated the constitutional petitions against Deposit the reference.

Sarina Issa also submitted a personal application to the Registrar of the Supreme Court with a request to include all the judges in the full court who had previously decided on her husband’s petition.

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