ISLAMABAD - In a major development, the government has decided to withdraw the review petition against senior most Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa in the presidential reference case against him.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the curative review filed by PTI government in 2021 after the quashment of presidential reference against the Judge, was based on ill-will and meant to harass and intimidate the honourable Judge.
The decision to withdraw the review case was taken by the prime minister after consulting his legal team.
The prime minister said the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023, passed by the Parliament today, will institutionally strengthen the apex court.
He said it will help make the process of bench formation and exercise of Article 184 (3) transparent and inclusive to serve the cause of justice.
The prime minister said that Justice Faez Isa and his family were harassed and defamed in the name of presidential reference. “This was not a reference, it was a revenge action by the then PM Imran Khan against a fair-minded judge who followed the path of the Constitution and the law,” PM Shehbaz said “Imran Niazi misused the constitutional office of president for this criminal act,” Shehbaz said, adding that the President Arif Alvi became an instrument in the attack on the judiciary and an accomplice to Imran Niazi to defame an honourable judge. The prime minister asserted that filing of reference was a nefarious conspiracy to divide the independence of the Judiciary and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and allied parties raised voice and condemned the false reference during the opposition period. The past federal government of PTI had moved the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on May 23, 2019 – the forum that can hold superior court judges accountable – against Justice Isa and Sindh High Court judge Justice K K Agha over non-disclosure of their families’ foreign assets in their wealth statements. However, in June 2020, the top court had quashed the presidential reference filed against Justice Isa as well as the SJC proceedings that were started on the basis of the reference.