ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday deferred hearing in review petitions against Presidential Reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa as the petitioner’s counsel sought adjournment.

A six-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of the review petitions. Law Minister Farogh Naseem and Additional Attorney General (AAG) Amir Rehman represented the federation.  Sarina Isa, the wife of Justice Qazi Faez, also appeared before the bench and informed that she had filed an application for constitution of a 10-member larger bench.

Sarina Isa has objected to the exclusion of three judges, who wrote dissenting notes, from a bench hearing review petitions. In her Civil Miscellaneous Application (CMA) she asked the apex court not to exclude Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi from the bench. Justice Faisal Arab had retired on November 5.

The judge’s wife stated that though neither she nor her children were party to the cases (CP 17/2019 and others) yet were mentioned a total of 194 times in the judgments authored by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Maqbool Baqir, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi. “Justice Bandial mentioned me and my children 81 times, Justice Baqir 39, Justice Faisal 7, Justice Mansoor 54, and Justice Yahya 13 times,” she stated. Justice Bandial told her not to worry adding that they would hear her application later on. Rasheed A Rizvi informed that petitioner Justice Qazi Faez’s counsel Munir A Malik’s associate had been tested Coronavirus positive, he, therefore, sought four weeks adjournment.

Justice Bandial accepting his request adjourned the case till December 8. Earlier, a 10-memer bench on 19-06-2020 through Short Order unanimously quashed the presidential reference and abated the proceeding before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. However, the majority (7 judges) directed the Commissioner FBR to issue notices under ITO to the spouse and children of Justice Qazi Faez regarding the acquisition of the three foreign properties. While the Council was asked to consider the matter by invoking its suo moto powers with or without there being a report filed by the FBR Chairman.