ISLAMABAD, Feb 06 ( Alliance News): Chief Justice of Pakistan Omar Ata Bandial has said that judges are protected from the general practice of law but they are not subject to separate or less legal standards of accountability than other government employees.
Chief Justice has rejected criticism against the accountability process of apex court and has given this statement after his minority verdict issued on the review petition of Justice Qazi Faiz Issa.
In the judgment, the Chief Justice said that in fact it is of utmost importance that the public office holders, especially the judges of the High Courts, who are serving the people of Pakistan, do their utmost to protect the integrity and credibility of themselves and their court. Be accountable to relevant forums to do so.
The decision was upheld by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, who were members of a 10-member bench of the Supreme Court that heard Justice Issa’s review petition.
With an additional note from Justice Muneeb Akhtar, the minority judgment said that if the suspicions against the judges were not removed on the basis of recognized facts then the moral authority of the courts would be lost and its basic function i.e. constitution and law.
According to him, deciding the rights and responsibilities of the people would be severely injured.
The decision made it clear that high court judges are responsible for the undisclosed assets of their spouses and family members, the only difference being that judges are accountable to the Special Forum, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which Under section 209, it was made to decide misconduct complaints against judges.
Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial said that in the present case, it was acknowledged that the three London properties belonged to Mrs. Serena Issa, wife of Justice Qazi Faiz Issa and their children.
The verdict said that two properties viz. 40 Oakdale Road and 90 Adelaide Road were purchased in 2013 when Justice Qazi Faiz Issa was holding the public office of Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court while these properties were owned by Serena Issa and her husband. Were ‘not shown in the wealth statements’.
The decision said that since the non-disclosure of London properties raised suspicions, the question from the petitioning judge about the sources of funding for these properties was natural, relevant and legal, despite the fact that Justice Isa There may have been some shortcomings in the preparation of the presidential reference against him.