CJP gave illegal decision in
PM funds case: Justice Isa

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ISLAMABAD: The dissident note written by Justice Qazi Faez Isa in Prime Minister Development Fund case has been issued. Justice Qazi Faez Isa has said in his 28 pages dissident note that the reply from Prime Minister (PM) runs contrary to the constitution. The matter was wrapped up unexpectedly rather than seeing it in line with the constitution. The end of the case was surprising.  A decision is not valid unless all the judges of bench sign it. The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) gave illegal decision. Giving decision against judge of Supreme Court (SC) instead of investigating the matter related to PM development funds is illegal act. CJP leveled allegations but he did not give solid evidence. The CJP should have given evidence before leveling the charges of partiality against the SC judge. The Attorney General (AG) leveled allegation against the judge instead of explaining the matter of development funds.  CJP should have given the decision as per law but he issued illegal decision.  The illegal decision by CJP has no validity.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa

He further said in the dissident note that PM asked to provide development funds to members of assembly before Senate polls. The government and opposition both are saying about the matter of sale and purchase of votes. The AG instead of making investigation tried to make the judge complainant.  The order cannot be legal unless it is signed by all the judges.

Meanwhile, The Supreme Court on Monday announced its decision on whether the present six-judge bench or a larger bench would hear a set of petitions seeking review of the court’s majority judgement in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, sending the matter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Dawn has reported.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who was presiding the six-judge bench, announced the 5-1 majority judgement. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik disagreed and will write a dissenting note.

The review petitions had been moved by Justice Isa, his wife Sarina Isa and different bar councils, calling for formation of a larger bench instead of a six-judge bench.

“The chief justice can form a larger bench on review petitions if he wants,” said the apex court, adding that normally the bench which delivers the judgement also hears the review petitions.

It also noted that review jurisdiction could only be invoked in relation to the unanimous and majority judgements passed by the Supreme Court.

Justice Bandial said it was mandatory to include the judge who wrote the decision in the review bench and if they were not available, then “the judge who agreed with the [court] order is part of the bench”.

“As a matter of law and settled practice it is for the [honourable chief justice], as master of the roster, to determine the composition of the bench and he may, for like reason, constitute a larger bench for hearing the review petition,” the order stated.

A six-judge bench headed by Justice Bandial had reserved the decision in a previous hearing on December 10, 2020.

“My understanding of the court rules is that the review petitions are always posted to the same bench,” Sarina Isa had said, asking if it was possible that the review petition was heard after amending these rules.