Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa has raised a question against the full court decision for the provision of services of assistant private secretary to the chief justice of Pakistan after his retirement.
Justice Isa has written a note to the CJP in this regard.
In his note, he mentioned that during the meeting held on February 6, 2019, he had stated that the meeting of July 7, 2018, to discuss the agenda item No 7 titled ‘Provision of Services of Assistant Private Secretary to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan after Retirement’ could not have been designated as a “full-court”.
Giving reasons, Justice Isa said that a full-court by its very nomenclature means all the judges of the Supreme Court and the chief justice.
Secondly, the note said the meeting was convened on one day’s notice and during the summer vacations.
Thirdly, Justice Isa said that he was on sanctioned leave abroad and it was impossible for “me, and probably for some of the colleagues too, to attend it”. “No attempt was made to solicit my views, and the provision of an Assistant Private Secretary for retiring Chief Justices was hardly a matter of importance let alone of such criticality that it required consideration during summer vacations and giving only one day’s notice."
He said that he had not signed the minutes of the full court meeting held on September 10, 2018, because reference therein was made to the so-called “full court” meeting held on July 7, 2018.
During the meeting on February 6, 2019, Justice Isa had stated that, for these reasons, he would abstain with regard to agenda Item No 7, however, since the minutes do not mention what transpired, he feels it necessary to pen this note.
Earlier, it was reported in a newspaper that in August 2018, a few days before Imran Khan took over as prime minister (PM), the law ministry moved a summary to the PM Office in which reference was made of the SC’s full-court meeting dated July 7, 2018.
The summary mentioned that the full court meeting had decided to facilitate the chief justice after retirement and had approved the services of an additional private secretary for him from the budget of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the report says.
“Mentioning its concerns, the law ministry stated that there was no precedent of a retired federal secretary or BS-22 officer having the facility of an assistant private secretary (BS-16) at the government’s expense.
“But the Supreme Court is persistently requesting to take action on the proposed amendment (in presidential order 2 of 1997),” the summary noted.
When the case was referred to the finance ministry, its regulation wing also objected to the SC’s proposal.
The regulation wing pointed out that the facility of support staff as additional private secretary/private secretary was possible for serving officers of the rank of joint secretary, additional secretary, and secretary but there was no such provision for retired officers.
“The federal government already pays a handsome amount of pension and various facilities to retired judges of the superior judiciary, including the chief justice of Pakistan,” the file of the finance ministry said.