Byline: SHAHID RAO
ISLAMABAD -- While arguing in identical petitions challenging presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly not disclosing his foreign properties in wealth statements, Senator Raza Rabbani Tuesday contended before the Supreme Court of Pakistan that the Prime Minister on his own cannot direct any department to collect information against the judge of the apex court.
He argued this before a 10-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial in petitions wherein besides the apex court judge, Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar Association, Bar Councils and Association of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, noted lawyer Abid Hassan Minto, and rights activist I A Rehman have challenged the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez.
During the hearing, Raza Rabbani submitted that under Article 209 of the Constitution, the President can only direct Supreme Judicial Council to inquire into misconduct of the judge.
Justice Maqbool Baqir asked Raza Rabbani if he meant to say that in this case neither president nor prime minister can order inquiry against the judge of apex court. Are you saying that the government machinery cannot be used to build up a case against the judge, the judge asked further.
The senator representing Sindh High Court Bar Association argued that if the president, prime minister or the executive had ordered inquiry then it is unconstitutional. He pleaded that it is the Supreme Court and not SJC to throw out the reference as it is illegal and unconstitutional.
He contended that the question before the court is that the reference filed by the president is non-est and mala fide in law and facts. He said the Supreme Court and...