Supreme Court seeks Tax Commissioner’s order in Justice Qazi Isa case

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Tax Commissioner Zulifqar Ahmed to present a copy of the order in judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s case.
The court also sought details whether it could see the order of the tax commissioner in the review petition.
A ten-member SC larger bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Aminuddin Khan heard the review petition seeking removal of paragraphs 2 to 11 of the June 19, 2020 verdict.
On June 19, 2020, seven judges of a 10-judge bench quashed a presidential reference against Justice Isa but ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to conduct an inquiry into the judge’s family members’ foreign assets and submit a report to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).
Resuming his arguments Attorney General Aamir Rehman said that the court granted full time to Mrs Sarina Isa to present her arguments in the case.
Aamir Rehman said that the relevant forum for Sarina Isa was the FBR. The court did not issue any order against Sarina Isa, he added.
He said that a hearing was required to make a decision against someone. He said that the court had heard Sarina Isa before sending the case to FBR.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa in his defense said that the federal government had not filed a review petition. The FBR case was between his wife and the agency, he added.
He alleged that the government wanted to delay the case till retirement of one member of the bench Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik.
Mrs Sarina Isa said that her statement was not part of the record. She said if there was a video of her statement, play it in court.
Justice Bandial responded that the text of her statement was part of the court order.
Sarina Isa asked who wrote the text of her statement and how?
Justice Bandial replied that the relevant branch of the Supreme Court wrote the statement and also gave her a copy.
During the hearing, the situation became tense when Justice Maqbool Baqar urged the government’s counsel, Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman, to not repeat his arguments as they were running short of time.
However, Justice Munib Akhtar told the counsel that there was no race as he could take time.
Upon this, Justice Baqar reminded Justice Akhtar that this was no way to interrupt a senior judge. “This is too much!” he remarked.
The situation got more intense as Justice Baqar and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah also got into an argument over the latter asking the former to allow the counsel to proceed.
Justice Baqar stated that if someone wanted to drag the matter for their own motive, then it was a different reason. He said that a coercive attitude would not be allowed in the courtroom. He said that the whole world was watching this case.
Endorsing Justice Baqar’s opinion, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah asked the counsel to keep in mind that one member of the bench, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, was retiring.
Justice Miankhel asked the Additional Attorney General to not repeat his formulations on the same point.
Later, Justice Umar Ata Bandial announced that the bench was taking a short break. However, Justice Baqar left the courtroom in protest before rising of the bench.
The court resumed hearing after the short break and Justice Bandial remarked that when someone could not drink water, breathing fresh air was enough. Because of fasting, the bench members also need to breathe fresh air, he added.
Aamir Rehman said that he would discuss the powers of the Supreme Court under Article 187.
When Justice Faez Isa attempted to interfere in the arguments, Justice Manzoor asked him to sit and did not interfere in the proceedings repeatedly.
Aamir Rehman said that it was being stated that Sarina Isa’s case could not be sent to FBR. There were court decisions on the powers of the Supreme Court, he added.
He said that the court had heard Sarina Isa’s position through video link.
Justice Bandial said that the judges would also ask questions if they wanted some clarification.
Everyone should try not to get emotional, he added. He said that this was the most sensitive case for the Supreme Court.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that the court decision did not say that Sarina Isa’s case was referred to the FBR under Article 187.
Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till tomorrow (Friday).