ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday 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 till Wednesday (today).

A 10-member larger Bench of the 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 regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez 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 wealth returns.

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Hamid Khan appeared before the court on behalf of Supreme Court Bar Association, Balochistan and Quetta Bar Associations.

He said that his arguments would be different from Advocate Munir A Malik as he would argue over structural matters. There were reservations on three matters and independence of judiciary was his priority, he added.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked the counsel about plea in the petitions.

Hamid Khan responded that his plea was same like the plea filed by Munir A Malik. He said that the reference was based on malafide intentions as legal formalities were not fulfilled before filing of reference.

He pleaded the court to dismiss reference by declaring it malafide. He said that Article 209 was included first time in the 1962 Constitution. He said that Article 209 was not thoroughly changed in the 1973 Constitution.  Initially there were two high courts and two Chief Justices and later in 1976 there were four high courts, he said and added that now there were five high courts working in the country.

Hamid Khan said that according to 1973 Constitution, the President can only establish his opinion in Article 209 but after the 17th Amendment in the Constitution, the Supreme Judicial Council could also frame its opinion. He said that Article 209 did not allow Supreme Judicial Council to frame rules.

Hamid Khan said that the Constitution’s scheme made it clear that the President was the head of the all the pillars of the State. He said that the Article 50 of the Constitution clearly states that the Parliament consisted on two Houses i.e Senate and National Assembly and President was part of it. Article 256 stated that the President addresses both Houses of the Parliament, he added.

Hamid Khan said that Article 58 mandated the President to dissolve the Assembly. In Article 58(1) President dissolve Assembly on recommendations of the Prime Minister, he added.

Justice Munib Akhtar asked can the President refer a reference to the Supreme Court directly. Hamid Khan said that the President could seek opinion from court on any matter.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said that how it was possible that two different inquiries to be conducted on the same matter.

Justice Munib Akhtar said that if the President would conduct inquiry against a judge then where would be the independence of judiciary stand. He said that a judge could be called more than once in inquiry.