ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned hearing of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition, challenging the presidential reference filed against him over alleged non-disclosure of assets in his wealth statement, until Tuesday.

A ten-member larger bench of the court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and consisting of Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the case regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

In the reference, it is alleged that Justice Isa acquired three properties in London on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015, but did not disclose these in his wealth returns. During the course of proceedings, Muneer A Malik, counsel for the petitioner, said that the reference was based on a mala fide intention.

His another objection was that the reference was filed without approval from the federal cabinet.

He argued that although the prime minister and the ministers could not be made answerable to any court under Article 248, still they were bound to act in accordance with the constitution and the law. He added that therefore there was no immunity for anyone who took an unconstitutional and illegal step.

The bench asked the counsel to point out the mala fide intention in the reference.

Malik said the president’s decision to act upon the prime minister’s advice was unconstitutional. Justice Faisal Arab asked if it was mentioned in the reference that the president had not applied his mind to the reference.

Justice Manzoor Ali Shah asked whether applying the mind meant that all evidence in the reference should be collected under the supervision of the president. He also questioned that under which law the material against Justice Isa was collected.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the president should have applied his mind to know how the material was collected.