ISLAMABAD    -   The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to all respondents in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case and directed Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman to submit a response on the judge’s appeal.

A nine-member larger Supreme Court bench 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 Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin heard nine petitions filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Advocate Abid Hasan Minto, Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Abdul Basit, President of Quetta Bar Association Muhammad Asif Reki, the Sindh High Court Bar Association, the Balochistan Bar Council and the Sindh Bar Council.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Umar Ata Bandial pointed out that Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who was a member of the bench, could not attend the proceedings as he was on leave. He also noted that Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s counsel Muneer A Malik was ill and had pleaded the court for adjournment.

He remarked that the court would issue notices to all the parties including the attorney general’s office. Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman said he would submit written response before the next hearing.

Justice Umar Bandial remarked that it was a matter of their fellow judge and the bench would decide the case in accordance with the law and Constitution.

Justice Munib Akhtar remarked that all the parties should convince the court over the exemption granted to the prime minister and president under Article 248.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that it is a case of anxiety not only for the bar but also for the bench. It was a very important case and the matter would not be left pending for a long period of time.

He remarked that the bench would also examine Article-211 according to which the Supreme Judicial Council’s proceeding could not be challenged in the court of law. It would consider whether the president or the prime minister could become party under Article- 248 of the Constitution, he added.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till October 8.

SC REJECTS CLAIM REGARDING FOREST LAND

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected applications filed by petitioners claiming ownership of pieces of forest land.

A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin heard the case regarding the cutting of forests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During the course of proceedings, the bench observed that the petitioners had not demanded their land at any level during the hearing of the case.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa told the petitioners that they did not have a right of claim to the land and the government should have filed a review petition in the case. He asked the government representative why the order in the case issued in 2013 was not implemented. The protection of forests was important for the future of upcoming generations, he added. He remarked that all laws relating to forests in the country were designed to protect corruption.

Criticising the introduction of laws through ordinances, Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the parliament should be shut down if laws were to be introduced through ordinances. The real issue for the rulers was protection of the environment, he added.

He asked as to why an important law concerning forests was instituted through an ordinance. The KP and Gilgit-Baltistan were losing greenery with decreasing forests, he added.

Every person involved in the cases concerning forests was a liar and those cutting forests were in fact enemy of the next generations, he added.