ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) 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 ten-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the case regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The reference filed 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 these in his wealth returns. During the course of proceedings, Advocate Babar Sattar, counsel for Justice Isa, said Prime Minister Imran Khan, while speaking at a gathering the other day, had said that there were double standards in the country when it came to application of laws to the rich and the poor. He had appealed to the incumbent chief justice of Pakistan and the chief justice-in-waiting to bring reforms in the judicial system in a bid to provide justice to all on equality basis, the counsel added.

Justice Bandial asked the counsel not to use this forum for such political talk as no institution was perfect. “Every organisation has room for improvement,” he reminded.

Addressing Justice Isa’s counsel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said your client did not give any gift to his wife or children, and you were giving arguments regarding gifts.

Sattar said the reference had not given the reason why Justice Isa did not disclose assets?

He said his client as a lawyer also paid taxes. “It is nowhere mentioned in the reference that he was not able to buy flats in London,” he argued.

He said if his client had any intention of hiding London flats, he could have made offshore companies.

Justice Bandial said Justice Isa was not accused of corruption as a judge.

Sattar further said there was not even a clue that the London assets were owned by his client.

Justice Yahya Afridi asked the counsel whether the children of Justice Isa held the official passports.

Munir A Malik said both children had Spanish passports.

Sattar said according to official documents, the London flats were in use of Justice Isa’s wife.

The counsel said according to the verdict in Panama leaks case, Maryam Nawaz was not dependent on her father. Nawaz Sharif was not obliged to disclose Maryam’s assets as she was not her dependent, he added.

He further said Justice Isa was not seeking protection under Article 209. He said his client wanted tax authorities to inquire into allegations. Justice Umar Ata Bandial said Article 209 was not only a protection, but also a privilege.