The Supreme Court will take up on September 17 the reference seeking the disqualification of Justice Qazi Faez Isa for hiding his assets.
The Registrar Office has issued notices to the respondents.
Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has formed a seven-member bench to hear the case. Justice Umar Ata Bandial will head the bench. Other members include justices Maqbool Baqar, Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Sardar Tariq Masood, Faisal Arab, Ijaul Ahsan, and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.
Those who have opposed the reference have said that they will seek recusal of two judges. They claim that these two judges will benefit from the removal of the judge, adding that one will serve as chief justice for six months, while the other judge’s tenure as CJ will be extended.
Justice Isa has yet to name the lawyer who will fight his case. The law, however, places no restriction on a petitioner judge from arguing for himself in such cases.
It has been reported that another complaint against the judge has been filed. The petitioner, Waheed Shahzad Butt, has said that Justice Isa has accused the chief justice and other Supreme Judicial Council members of being biased against him.
On August 26, the judge had challenged in the top court the Supreme Judicial Council’s observations against him in the verdict dismissing the reference against the judge for writing letters to President Arif Alvi.
The council had dismissed the reference on August 19. The SJC wrote in its order that the “private letters” written to the president by Justice Isa “ha[d] not been found by us to be serious or grave enough to constitute misconduct sufficient for his removal from the exalted office of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan”.
The judge, however, wants the remarks against him to be removed from the verdict.
He remarked, in the petition, the presidential reference against him for owning foreign properties can no longer be heard by the chairperson of the Supreme Judicial Council, Justice Khosa, and its other members because they “are no longer competent to hear it”. The members have shown “bias” against him as evident by their remarks in the reference dismissal verdict.