‘SC must lay down parameters about judges’ privacy’

Published: November 5, 2019
Justice Qazi Faez Isa. PHOTO: FILE

Justice Qazi Faez Isa. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s counsel on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to lay down parameters or guidelines about the privacy of judges.

As the 10-judge full-court, led by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, resumed hearing of Justice Isa’s petition0 against the reference, the judge’s counsel Muneer A Malik presented his arguments.

SJC issued notices to Justice Isa on points not raised in reference, SC told

“Is it not proper that SC should give guidelines what the executive [govt] should do and what it should not do so that judges’ privacy should not be violated and their families should not be snooped upon.,” Malik said.

He questioned the role of Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem in filing presidential reference against Justice Isa.

According to Malik, the law minister bypassed the cabinet and sent the summary directly to the prime minister.

Justice Isa’s counsel continued that “even Dr Naseem directed the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) to inquire about Justice Isa and his family after filing the presidential reference. The law minister also issued a press statement about the filing of the presidential reference.”

He said the presidential reference was filed without jurisdiction and constitutional authority. The president acted otherwise as it was required in Article-209 of the Constitution.

“President did not form an opinion independently before sending the presidential reference.”

Malik said every breach of law was not a violation of judges’ code of conduct. “Power to send reference is unique and the president should use discretion in filing references.”

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, however, disagreed with Malik’s arguments and noted that after the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment, president discretion was wiped out.

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Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said, “If any government department like FBR finds out any irregularity of any judge how will it pass on information to the president.

The hearing of the case was adjourned until Wednesday.

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