ISLAMABAD: The apex court on Monday accepted Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s review petitions challenging the court’s judgement on the presidential reference against him.

A 10-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing review petitions filed against the court’s June 19, 2020, judgement on the presidential reference in which the court had empowered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to conduct an inquiry into offshore assets of his spouse.

The top court accepted the review petitions by a majority of 6-4. Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mazhar Alam accepted the petitions.

Meanwhile, Justice Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah dissented from the judgement.

The court declared legal actions taken by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and all other forums related to the assets of Justice Isa’s wife and children as “illegal”.

The FBR’s report could not be challenged in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) or any other legal forum, the majority judgement said.

Justice Isa was the subject of a presidential reference that alleged he had 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. Justice Isa contested the allegation, saying he was not a beneficial owner of the flats — either directly or indirectly.

In June 2020, the Supreme Court threw out the reference, terming it “invalid”.

“[The reference] is declared to be of no legal effect whatsoever and stands quashed,” read the majority (9-1) short verdict on a petition filed by Justice Isa and others seeking the reference’s dismissal.

Whereas the reference itself was dismissed, a majority 7-3 of the bench empowered the FBR to conduct an inquiry into the judge’s wife and children on the nature and source of funding for three properties in their names in the United Kingdom and submit a report to the SC registrar.  


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