SC registrar finally entertains review plea of Justice Isa’s wife July 24, 2020 Sarina on Monday filed a review petition in person under Article 188 of the Constitution. ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Registrar Office has finally entertained the review petition of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s wife Sarina Isa against its June 19 order of referring the matter to the FBR to conduct an inquiry into his family’s foreign assets. Sarina on Monday filed a review petition in person under Article 188 of the Constitution. However, the SC institution branch raised objection over the review petition because she was not a party in the main case. On July 21 (Tuesday), Sarina wrote a letter to the SC Registrar Office wherein she stated that FBR Commissioner Zulfiqar Ahmed was proceeding in her matter with "indecent haste", despite the fact that she delivered her second reply over Zulfiqar’s rejoinder on July 21. According to the letter, since she was concerned that the FBR proceedings would be concluded before hearing of the review petition, she asked her advocate Muhammad Kassim Mirjat about fixation of her review petition. However, he was unwell. Therefore, she came to the SC personally to inquire about the status of her review petition. She informed that her review petition would not be numbered because she was not a party to the case. “This in fact is one of the main grounds for the review I have filed. I asked the concerned person to give me his response in writing and he said that this would take time as it would have to go first to the superintendent, then to the assistant registrar and then I don't know to whom it would be sent eventually. Therefore, I telephoned Mirjat who said that the SC branch is not correct and he told me to tell them about the judgment in the case of H M Saya PLD 1969. Mirjat said that the judgment of the Supreme Court is binding on everyone under Article 189 of the Constitution and that the branch has to implement them as required by Article 190 of the Constitution,” the letter says. After her letter, the SC institution branch has allotted a number to her review petition. Review petition Sarina in her review petition contended that the split order is discriminatory as it singles out Justice Isa’s family from a newly created “class of persons”. "By issuing orders under Article 184(3), the Honorable Supreme Court has, effectively, created a class of persons and redefined the private and confidential affairs of individual citizens falling within such class as matters of ‘public importance’,” the petition filed under Article 188 of the Constitution stated. A 10-judge full court on June 19 quashed a presidential reference that accused Justice Isa of committing misconduct by not disclosing his family member’s foreign properties and sought his removal. In the split order, seven of the judges had, however, referred the case to the FBR and ordered the tax authority to launch an inquiry into foreign assets of Justice Isa’s family. The short order had asked the FBR chairman to present a report on basis of the inquiry to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), the constitutional forum that can hold a superior court judge accountable, and the SJC, according to some legal expert, could revive the reference and initiate proceedings against Isa. Challenging the short order, Sarina said the new class of people that the SC order has created includes the spouses and children of judges, with their assets and liabilities being elevated to the status of public importance impinging on the fundamental rights of all citizens of Pakistan. She said the creation of such a class backed by a judicial order without any foundation in law may be seen to be invidious and discriminatory. The petitioner said under Article 194 of the Constitution, all judges of the superior courts take the same oath, under the third schedule. “All judges of the superior courts abide by the same code of conduct, and their violation of the same is dealt with by the same forum, the SJC, under Article 209 of the Constitution. “However, it is to the exclusion of all other members of this class, created by the SC under Article 184(3), that the petitioner and her children are being singled out and targeted.” The petitioner said she and her children are being made to explain their sources of income to the exclusion of the spouses and children of all 139 sitting chief justices and judges of the superior courts. It is a settled law, she said, persons similarly situated are to be treated in the same manner. "[However] in the instant matter, it is clear that only one individual judge of a class created by [SC] is being dealt with in a manner completely different to the other members of the same class in a brazen violation of the right to equal protection and guarantee against discrimination under Article 25. “There is no basis to treat the petitioner any differently from the spouses of all other judges of the superior courts and the petitioner’s children from the children of all other judges of the superior courts.” The petition said if the Supreme Court has decided that accountability of judges mandates accountability of their spouses and their children and that the spouses and children of judges must present themselves before the FBR to obtain a character certificate of good legal and moral conduct, the obligation to do so cannot attach to the petitioner and her children alone. “Nor will they be so obliged merely because the elusive Mr Dogar in some inexplicable fashion mentioned the assets belonging to the petitioner.” Abdul Waheed Dogar was the man on whose complaint the government moved the reference against Justice Isa. "If a new obligation has been created for the petitioner due to her being the spouse of a judge, such obligation must be applied and enforced strictly across-the-board in relation to all members of this new class of judges’ spouses and children. “And, would it also not be eminently fair to include the chief justices and judges who have retired, after all they receive pensions and other benefits, and particularly the honorable chief justice and an honorable judge of the council [SJC] who were satisfied on this ground to issue show-cause notice with regard to the references against Justice Isa," she added. Sarina alleged that the tactics employed by the PTI-led federal government, the FBR, and FBR Commissioner Inland Revenue Zulfiqar Ahmad conclusively establish that a charade is being enacted. “There is no chance of expecting an order passed [by the FBR] in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance and one which meets the basic tenets of justice,” she said.