• Monday, August 10, 2020

Justice Isa owns and declared more property in Pakistan than he's accused of hiding abroad

Discussion in 'Insaf - Justice' started by Xestan, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Xestan

    Xestan SENIOR MEMBER

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    ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa has told the Supreme Court that the presidential reference against him – filed for not disclosing the properties of his family members in his wealth statement – was part of a “witch-hunt” aimed at “silencing judges”.


    “The petitioner’s [Justice Isa] conduct does not show any lack of bona fides nor does he want to protract the process of accountability,” he stated in a rejoinder to the assertions made by the attorney general for Pakistan.

    “If the ‘process’ means a false complaint and reference, it is nothing but a witch-hunt aimed at silencing judges,” he added.

    Justice Isa further maintained that the government was attempting to destroy the independence of the judiciary.

    “The objective of the government’s team is patently obvious, that is, to ensure the subservience of judges, failing which judges and their families will be subjected to surveillance, information about them will be illegally gathered, they will be defamed, victimised and exposed to danger,” he added.

    “By creating such an environment through deception, guile and dominance, the government’s team is attempting to destroy the independence of the judiciary.”



    Justice Isa also said the material relied upon by the federation against him and his family had been obtained through covert surveillance and/or through unauthorised and unlawful sharing of confidential data by state agencies and the Federal Board of Revenue, the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Database and Registration Authority.

    “A false and invidious media campaign is then run to destroy the reputation of a judge of a Supreme Court and his family. Would the exoneration of the petitioner wash away all the lies and propaganda unleashed against him? And all this has been done because the powers that be did not approve of what the petitioner wrote as a judge. The objective is to browbeat the judiciary and destroy its independence,” the rejoinder read.

    “The government’s team wanted the petitioner to violate his oath of office, to be fearful and to conduct his work in violation of the constitution and the law. If the petitioner had complied, he would have breached his oath and committed misconduct. However, the great irony is that in upholding his oath of office and not committing misconduct it is alleged that the petitioner has committed misconduct.”

    Justice Isa also raised questions about the individual who shared the initial information about his family’s properties with the government.

    He said not a single fact about Abdul Waheed Dogar, who according to the presidential reference provided information about the foreign properties of judges, had been disclosed by the federation.

    “Every effort has been made to conceal all information about Mr Dogar because if the truth about him emerges, it will embarrass the highest functionaries of the state, who want to convert this great country into a police-state where such nefarious characters are required to put forward lies and are to be used for ulterior and nefarious agendas,” he maintained.

    “The powers that control the strings of the puppet Mr Dogar are so very powerful that he is the unaccountable blue-eyed boy whilst a judge of the Supreme Court is of no consequence. Significantly, the Supreme Judicial Council never called Mr Dogar to appear before it nor questioned him yet the petitioner was called upon to submit his response and then his reply to the show-cause notice was founded on Mr Dogar’s allegation.”

    Justice Isa said the unusual degree of protection accorded to Dogar and the concealment of all his affairs led to only one conclusion that his puppet masters were the most powerful in the land and could be questioned or held accountable.

    “This Hon’ble Court may, if it so pleases, summon Mr Dogar to ascertain his dubious and cloaked existence, his employers, his travels abroad, his income tax status and on whose directions he had knowingly filed false stories,” the rejoinder read.

    “While every single aspect of the petitioner and his family’s life has been probed, Mr Dogar has been given, in sharp contrast, extraordinary protection and immunity. Why? The government team is rendering the Islamic Republic of Pakistan into a police state, resorting to third-degree methods, using disreputable proxies and protecting them.”

    Justice Isa further informed the court that he was not under obligation to provide the money trail for his family’s properties.

    “The petitioner cannot be compelled, or even asked, to provide information about properties that are independently owned by his wife and children,” he added.

    “The petitioner’s wife and adult children are not his dependents and conduct their own affairs. The petitioner does not have information about all their financial affairs just like they don’t have knowledge about all of the petitioner’s financial affairs.”

    Justice Isa said he was under no obligation to declare the income or assets or the money trail of his independent wife and children. “Indeed, there is not even an allegation of benami ownership in the reference. The law of Pakistan does not conflate the identities of different family members merely on account of their kinship.”

    Justice Isa also denied that the properties owned by his wife and children were “expensive”.

    “The federation has deliberately been repeating this in order to insidiously impugn the petitioner’s integrity and undermine his public reputation. It is the federation’s own case that the first of the properties was purchased in 2004 for GBP 236,000 (approximately Rupees 2 crores 60 lacs at the time) while the second and third were purchased in 2013 for GBP 245,000 and GBP 270,000 when the pound in value had appreciated somewhat against the rupee but was nowhere close to its present value,” the rejoinder read.

    “While ‘expensive’ is, of course, a relative term it may be pointed out that the cumulative value of all three properties is less than the value of a 1 kanal (500 square yards) residential house in the better areas of Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad. Incidentally, the petitioner’s house in Phase 2 of DHA, Karachi is situated on 800 square yards and subsequently the petitioner bought another 800 square yards lying adjacent thereto which makes it a total of 1,600 square yards. The petitioner’s house in Karachi lies vacant for the last ten years as he was called to serve first as the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court and then as a judge of the Supreme Court living respectively in Quetta and Islamabad. The petitioner never received any rent nor at any stage declared his Karachi house as his official residence, and consequently, all outgoings in respect thereof are paid by him. The petitioner also did not accept valuable land in Islamabad offered at well-below market price to the petitioner by the government.”


    Justice Isa maintained that a complete disclosure had been made of his properties in Pakistan and which were several times the combined value of the properties in London falsely attributed to him. “If the petitioner had income and savings to buy far more expensive properties in Pakistan than those in London there was no legal impediment in his way not to buy properties abroad. The petitioner, however, has not bought till date a property in London or any other place abroad. It is denied that the reference has required the SJC to inquire as to whether the London properties are in fact owned by the petitioner. The reference does not even allege this.”

    Justice Isa also denied that his wife held two identities. “Spelling, pronunciation and naming conventions are different in Spanish as compared to English and that is the only reason for the difference in her Spanish documents as compared to her Pakistani documents,” he added.

    “The reference does not make any allegation in this regard and the same is entirely irrelevant to the matters at hand. The federation’s contentions in this regard only betray a keenness to sling mud at the petitioner and his family even at the flimsiest pretext. Since the petitioner had exposed the falsity of the reference, a resort was then made to target the petitioner’s wife and children.”

    Justice Isa also denied that he was under any obligation to have knowledge of, let alone obligation to disclose, the source of income used by his independent wife and adult independent children to purchase properties.

    “It is further denied that the petitioner’s daughter and son had no source of income of their own when the two properties were purchased jointly with their mother in 2013. In June 2013 and April 2013 the petitioner’s daughter and son were married and working. The petitioner’s daughter worked at a law firm in the United Kingdom and her husband was also a working barrister. The petitioner’s son was employed at an estate agency and he also carried out editing jobs as an independent contractor. His wife was an analyst at a private equity firm. None of this is denied by the federation yet it claims the petitioner’s children had no independent source of income. What was propagated by the Nazi Joseph Goebbels that – repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth – is the same tactic employed against the petitioner.”

    The judge said it was clear that the information forming the basis of the reference had already been gathered through covert surveillance by various government agencies and a proxy complainant was subsequently set up and a sham investigative exercise carried out by the Asset Recovery Unit to legitimise it.

    “Moreover, neither the Assets Recovery Unit nor its chairman had any constitutional authority to receive a complaint of misconduct against a judge of the superior courts.”

    Justice Isa also noted that if he and his wife’s filings could be publicly displayed, then the government had no immunity to keep the prime minister’s income tax returns and wealth statements hidden.

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2078397/1/
     
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  2. Verve

    Verve ELITE MEMBER

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    Let him face the same level of scrutiny that IK faced in providing money trail for Bani Gala residence.

    Being a judge of the highest court doesn't give him any immunity.
     
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  3. alibaz

    alibaz SENIOR MEMBER

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    He is beating around the bush, shall provide details against alleged properties.
     
  4. Hakikat ve Hikmet

    Hakikat ve Hikmet ELITE MEMBER

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    Looks like every household of "elites" in Pak is like a Hazine!!! Pak can confiscate them for the national defense procurement purposes....
     
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  5. ejaz007

    ejaz007 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Justice Faez Isa reference: Petitioner says info gathering by ASU illegal

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was told on Tuesday that gathering of information by the Asset Recovery Unity (ARU) prior to its placement before the president was without lawful executive authority.

    A 10-member full court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed hearing in the identical petitions, challenging the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly not disclosing his foreign properties in his wealth returns.

    Other members of the bench include Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Manzoor Ahmed 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 Amin Ahmed.

    Commencing his arguments, Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), submitted that no doctrine of inherent or residuary executive authority or rule 4(5) of the Rules of Business, 1973 can provide the basis for the invasive authority exercised by the ARU, without statutory sanction and in suppression of the authority vested by law in statutory authorities and functionaries, that has violated protections available to the judge who is a petitioner before the apex court.

    The counsel contended that the obtaining of information in the stage prior to its placement before the president could only have been through recourse to the normal flow of information made available under the various statutes such as the Nadra laws or property registration laws. Proper legislation that provides for a no-invasive collection and vetting of information in compliance with the scheme of Article 209 and the judgment, para 64 in Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry case is needed,” Salman Akram Raja contended, adding that the said para 64 has not dealt with the pre-presidential stage.

    The learned counsel submitted that the opinion to be formed for the purposes of Article 209 is to be formed on the basis of lawfully collected information.

    The opinion envisaged by Article 209(5) is to be formed by the President independently without being bound by the advice of the prime minister or the cabinet in terms of Article 48 and such independence is inherent in the very idea and the conception of an opinion,” the counsel submitted, adding that dictated opinion is no opinion.

    He contended that the role given by para 64 in Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry case clearly indicates that the president is not a mere a rubber stamp. He submitted that the opinion in terms of Article 209(5) must satisfy not only the requirement that it be based on the application of mind to the lawfully collected material placed before the president and it must also ensure protection of the due process right of the judge concerned and his family.

    He further submitted that the alleged non-compliance of Section 116 can only attract notice and further action under the Income tax law. “Patently, wrong reading of Section 116(1) has been made by the president and no notice to this day has been issued under section 116(1) or any other provision of the Income Tax Law to the family of the judge that or the judge himself,” the counsel contended.

    He submitted that the Supreme Judicial Council cannot function as the first tier of income tax administration and such action would violate not only initial due process but also deny the multiple rights of appeal under the law. “In the alternative, even if the opinion in terms of Article 209(5) is to be formed by the prime minister and the cabinet, the opinion must satisfy the requirements of honouring due process for it to be considered reasonable”, Salman Raja submitted. He further contended that the judicial review of the opinion formed by the president lies in the jurisdiction of this court and not the SJC. He said it is the right of the petitioner judge concerned to seek such review. He said the SJC is not a court but only a fact finding forum and unique body that carries the highest stature. The court adjourned the hearing for today (Wednesday).

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/60...petitioner-says-info-gathering-by-asu-illegal
     
  6. Sher Shah Awan

    Sher Shah Awan SENIOR MEMBER

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    The judiciary in this country is the most pious, non corrupt in the world. All of our lawyers and judges are role model citizens. They have the right to interfere in the business of state and question others, but no one should question them. If you do, you are trying to silence judges.

    All hail our "honorable" judges.
     
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  7. ejaz007

    ejaz007 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Justice Faez Isa reference: Under what authority ARU conducted inquiry against judge, SC asks govt

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the government to explain in detail under what authority the Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) was empowered to conduct an inquiry against a sitting judge of the apex court.

    A 10-member full court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed hearing in the identical petitions challenging the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly not disclosing his foreign properties in his wealth returns. Other members of the bench include Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Manzoor Ahmed 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 Muhammad Qazi Amin Ahmed.

    During the proceedings, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan sought a two-week time for submitting his arguments in rebuttal of the instant matter.

    Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the attorney general to inform the court on two points, first under what authority the ARU was assigned the task to probe a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Secondly, Justice Bandial told the AG that he should also inform the court that how the government made public the presidential reference against the judge of the apex court and why the reference was debated publically which was first meant for referring to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

    Earlier, in pursuance of the court’s previous order, the attorney general submitted a report of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) stating that Mrs Qazi Faez Isa visited the FBR office on January 27 and expressed a preference that her case be transferred from Islamabad to Karachi for which she also lodged an application. The FBR submitted that Mrs Faez Isa was apprised that she could file her tax declarations online under Section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 from anywhere and outside Pakistan. She had already filed her income tax declaration for T/Y 2012, 2013 and 2014 online and Mrs Faez Isa was also assured that her request would be disposed of promptly as per law. The FBR further submitted that Mrs Faez Isa’s case accordingly be transferred to Karachi as per her desire wide FBRs jurisdiction order No 7 (1) jurisdiction/2018-11922-R, dated January 30.

    It further submitted that earlier the jurisdiction of Mrs Isa’s case was transferred from Karachi to Islamabad along with other similar case for administrative convenience in that her husband Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s case rested in Islamabad, adding that this is further stipulated that assignment of jurisdiction falls within the administrative domain of the FBR objected to by the taxpayer under section 209(4) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. The FBR contended that Mrs Isa’s statement that she “stopped filing when I no longer had taxable income as I had stopped working on June 30, 2008, and sold the property which gave me taxable income,” is not corroborated by the facts of her case as she herself filed tax returns for T/Ys 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 manually and for T/Y 2012, 2013 and 2014 online. “Moreover, since she did not file her tax declarations for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, she was issued system generated notices U/S 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and no tax returns for these years have yet been filed,” the FBR informed the court.

    It further submitted that Mrs Isa was extended full cooperation and assistance and she left the office satisfied. It is pertinent to mention here that on the last hearing Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), while continuing his arguments quoted media reports and pointed out to the court that wife of the petitioner Justice Qazi Faez Isa visited the office of the FBR and asked the authorities as to why she was not issued notice for her foreign assets but her spouse was asked instead. He had submitted that the wife of the petitioner sought information regarding transferring of her tax record from Karachi to Islamabad besides inquiring as to why she was not issued notice for her foreign assets.

    Salman Akrm Raja said the FBR authorities did not cooperate with the lady. At this, the court had directed the AG to inquire form the FBR about the case and submit the report.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/60...-conducted-inquiry-against-judge-sc-asks-govt
     
  8. ejaz007

    ejaz007 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Justice Faez Isa case: Supreme Court directs AG to produce proof or apologise

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    ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to produce evidence supporting his statement that he had made about the bench or submit a written apology.

    The court took strong exception to the manner in which the Attorney General was arguing his rebuttal and observed that instead of establishing his case, he was not fully prepared but only wasting the court's time. A ten-member full-court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial resumed hearing in the identical petitions challenging the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly not disclosing his foreign properties in his wealth returns.

    Other members of the bench include Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Muhammad Qazi Amin Ahmed.

    It is pertinent to mention here that Attorney General Anwar Mansoor the other day levelled allegations against the bench which irked the full court asking him to withdraw his statement.

    Later on, after he withdrew his statement, the court restrained the media from publishing the allegation made by the AG against the bench.

    On Wednesday, the court admonished the attorney general for wasting its time by focusing repeatedly on the definitions of misconduct of a judge instead of relying on facts for establishing his case.

    The court directed the attorney general to submit evidence supporting his statement he made about the bench or if he did not, he should submit written apology.

    “Certain statement was made by the attorney general about the bench and it would be appreciative that the material on the basis that he has made statement be placed before the bench,” the court noted down in its order.

    “In case, no material was placed before this bench, we expect written apology from attorney general for having touch the matter,” the court further noted in its order. “It is not against one but every member of the bench,” the court added in the order.

    The court further observed that the AG made submission on the definition of misconduct and what should be the conduct of a judge laid down in different judgments.

    “We have asked him as to what is the factual basis for invoking these definition and discussion,” said the order, adding that in the present case, in order to understand the reference, he discloses prima facie misconduct against a judge.

    The court granted time to attorney general to collect the facts that addresses the definition which he would like to read before it.

    Earlier, at the outset of hearing, the court directed the AG to tell on the next date of hearing about the existing laws pertaining to declaring foreign assets and to assist the court as to whether these laws could also be applied on judges of the superior courts.

    The court observed that it would have to be established legally that declaring the foreign assets of spouse and children was mandatory for the judge.

    “A reference against a judge must be based on substantial material,” Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed, adding that if the reference is based on mala fide, judgments of the apex court are in field in this regard.

    Addressing the AG, Justice Bandial inquired as to whether it is a reference or an FIR, adding that he was just wasting the court’s time by focusing on irrelevant things.

    Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked the AG that his arguments would be irrelevant until and unless he establishes the misconduct of the judge.

    Meanwhile, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said enough is enough and this is not the way the AG was arguing.

    “You are just wasting our time and you did not make preparation for the instant case. Please don’t waste our time as what you wanted to say you did not make proper preparation for it,” Justice Bandial told the AG.

    When the bench posed questions to AG, he used to say I will come to these. This prompted Justice Mansoor Ali Shah to tell AG, “You are saying everything but not replying our questions.” AG submitted that the Supreme Judicial Council has taken cognisance of reference and having taken cognisance, preliminary inquiry was held notice was issued to the petitioner judge to which he filed the reply but did not challenge the SJC.

    Therefore, he said that the SJC considered the reply and later a show cause notice was formally issued and after receiving the show cause notice, the petitioner judge filed a reply to that show cause notice however, again the jurisdiction of the Council was not challenged.

    Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked the AG as to what measures were taken after filing a complaint against the petitioner judge and under what law as well. “Suppose if the petitioner had declared the said properties in his wealth statements, than a reference could be made against him,” Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked AG.

    “No reference than could be made against him,” the AG replied. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until next Monday

    Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sent a contempt of court notice to the health secretary as the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) still isn’t functioning despite the court order.

    Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani asked whether there was anyone in the federal government who could even explain this. If the government does things like this, the people will come out on to the streets and throw rocks, he said.

    Separately, the federal government also challenged the February 11 restoration order. It filed an intra-court appeal.

    In the appeal, it said the court has interfered in an administrative issue, which is not in their jurisdiction. It said the single-bench verdict was against the rules set by the Supreme Court.

    Justice Kiyani heard on Wednesday the contempt of court petition against the sealing of the PMDC. The court asked on whose order the building had been sealed. The Islamabad administration replied that it was on the orders of the Health Ministry.

    The court observed that the government must go to the Parliament if it doesn’t want an institution.

    Justice Kiyani then criticised the federal government and Health Ministry and said they were playing with fire. A man felt like it so he locked up the building, said the court.

    On February 11, Justice Kiyani in his verdict had declared the PMDC dissolution by a presidential ordinance as ‘null and void’. The court had also declared the establishment of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) as illegal and unlawful.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/61...e-sc-directs-ag-to-produce-proof-or-apologise
     
  9. ejaz007

    ejaz007 SENIOR MEMBER

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    PBC seeks contempt case against law minister, AG
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    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has requested the Supreme Court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Federal Minister for Law Farogh Nasim and Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan for making a statement against the bench of the apex court hearing the petition filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa challenging the presidential reference against him for not disclosing the foreign assets of his family.

    Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Abid Saki has filed the petition under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

    The PBC prayed the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against Farogh Nasim and Anwar Mansoor and any other person who may have instructed the attorney general to make such statement on behalf of the Federation and punish them in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

    The PBC submitted that Anwar Mansoor has cast aspersions and improper motives on the judges of the Supreme Court and criticised and scandalised their lordships which constitutes judicial contempt. “The fact that the highest law officer of the Federation did so make his offence unpardonable and in doing so a clear and conscious attempt was made to lower the authority of the apex court and bring the administration of law into disrespect and disrepute and to scandalise the judges of the apex court in relation to their work,” the PBC submitted.

    It said the AG premeditatedly and deliberately made the statements in open court and if there was an iota of truth in these statements, Anwar Mansoor would have said so in writing on the very first date when he appeared before this court, that on 8th October 2019 and not kept silent for 133 days.

    Meanwhile, the legal fraternity condemned the statement of attorney general. In a separate statements, President Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Syed Qalbe Hassan and Vice Chairman PBC Abid Saki said that it is indeed very unfortunate that the highest law officer has made such an irresponsible statement unsupported by any material, which amounts not only to undermining the public confidence in the highest court but also constitutes contempt of the apex court.

    They demanded that attorney general should immediately tender an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court and also step down from the highest office of the principal law officer forthwith, otherwise the Bar would not hesitate to file a contempt petition against him as well as the federal law minister, who according to them is equally responsible for the unfortunate episode that took place in the Supreme Court the other day.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/616826-pbc-seeks-contempt-case-against-law-minister-ag