ISLAMABAD     -   The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the respondents of fresh constitutional petitions filed against the Supreme Judicial Council’s proceedings in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case.

A 10-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising 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.

The reference filed by the president against Justice Isa alleges that he acquired three properties in London on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015, but did not disclose them in his wealth returns.

During the course of proceedings, Justice Isa’s counsel Munir A Malik said information pertaining to properties owned by Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s family in the United Kingdom was obtained through surveillance and without approval of the lawful authority. 

He questioned the credibility of complainant Waheed Dogar. He said the complainant had written to the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) alleging that Justice Isa owned property abroad that had not been disclosed in his asset statements. The counsel said there were certain safeguards in the law regarding investigations against the judges. The complaints were received, evidence was collected and references were filed at different times, he added. Justice Maqbool Baqar asked the counsel whether he was saying that the investigation against the judge was initiated without due process. Munir Malik replied that Waheed Dogar had written to the ARU in April. The letter written by the complainant did not have any contact number or address and also did not mention any property that belonged to Justice Qazi Faez Isa, he added.

The counsel said the ARU, after receiving the complaint, had written to the law minister on May 10 asking for his position on the matter. The ARU officials had also met the Federal Investigation Agency officials on the same day and during that meeting, the name of Justice Isa’s wife and her Spanish nationality had surfaced for the first time, he added.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that Justice Isa’s wife name came up because of a visa request and she had been granted a five-year visa.

Munir Malik said the identities of Justice Isa’s wife and their son had been brought forth for the first time after Dogar’s letter. He also questioned solidity of Dogar’s accusation against the judge. The complainant obtained the documents provided as evidence against Justice Isa after an online search for London properties, he added.  Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked whether anyone could take data from London’s land authority online? Munir Malik replied that information could only be retrieved online when address of the property was available.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked how the information regarding the property was gathered. Munir Malik answered that the information was gathered by stalking the petitioner and his family.

Justice Umar Ata asked the counsel whether he wanted to say that the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had provided all the information to Dogar. Munir Malik said Waheed Dogar had also informed the ARU about Justice K K Agha’s dual nationality and the property owned by the judge, but failed to provide any documentary evidence. It seemed that Waheed Dogar was a fake appellant, he added.

Justice Munib Akhtar observed that the logic was not understandable that Dogar was playing the role of a proxy for another complainant.  Munir Malik said he was talking about his (complainant) credibility as Dogar was not a trustworthy man.

The court subsequently issued notices to the respondents of the fresh constitutional petitions filed against the Supreme Judicial Council’s proceedings in the matter and adjourned hearing till Wednesday.