In a first, SC judge Justice Faez Isa, family declare assets

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ISLAMABAD: In a first for Pakistan, a Supreme Court judge and his family members have publicly declared their assets in response to a request filed by the Women’s Action Forum (WAF).

Justice Qazi Faez Isa made his assets public in light of a request by the WAF, which had invoked Article 19-A of the Constitution, as well as the Right to Information (RTI) laws, to seek the information from the Supreme Court judges.

The assistant personal secretary to Justice Isa, Muhammad Tauseef Khan, released the information on Thursday, noting that the judge received Rs54.34 million in salaries for fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020, and paid Rs6.7 million in taxes.

The SC judge revealed that his income remained at Rs15.11 million, Rs17.145 million, and Rs21.237 million for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. Similarly, he paid Rs2.2 million, Rs1.8 million, and Rs2.3 million in taxes in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.

Houses and plots

In his personal belongings, Justice Isa revealed that he owned a 800-square-yard residential plot in Phase 2 of Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) — bought when he was practising law and on which he has built a house.

The judge also owns a 200-yard commercial plot in Karachi’s DHA Phase 5, which was bought when he was practicing law, according to the information made available exclusively to this correspondent.

The judge further shared the details of a property he had inherited from his father, late Qazi Mohammad Isa, which included a 50% share of a plot in Ziarat, next to the Quaid-e-Azam Residency — a sizeable portion of which has been illegally encroached by the government.

An old, one-kanal house in Block B, Phase I of Lahore’s DHA was bought from partial sales proceeds of his share in a two-acre house and land at Lytton Road, Quetta. That house is currently rented out.

Personal belongings

Justice Isa disclosed an account worth Rs41.4 million and foreign currency accounts worth Rs4.1 million.

He said he also owned three vehicles — a Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and a Mini Jeep.

Perks, privileges, and benefits

The top judge also released details of his official perks and privileges accordingly, noting that he has an official residence in Islamabad — with two servants, a cook, a part-time gardener, and cleaners — as well as Honda Civic (2017 and 2015 models), with up to 600 litres of petrol, and free medical treatment at approved hospitals.

Some other perks and benefits were offered to him as well but Justice Isa said he did not avail them. He did not get plots either as the judge of the Supreme Court or the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court (BHC). He was also offered a plot but he declined it.

According to the judge, the Ministry of Interior also offered him Prohibited Bore (PB) weapons in 2019 but he refused.

Retirement benefits

With regard to his pension and post-retirement benefits, he said the pension was determined on the basis of years of service. Once an SC judge retires, they get a driver, an orderly, and a police guard at their residence.

A retired judge also gets 300 free local calls, 2,000 units of electricity, 25 hectometres of gas, water, and 300 litres of petrol a month. If these services are availed, then the justice has to provide free arbitration work, involving government interest, without charging fee.

An official car in the retired judge’s use can also be purchased at depreciated value. They are also allowed a 20% medical allowance.

Justice Isa’s family

Justice Isa said his wife, Sarina Isa, is not his dependent and files her own income tax returns in the UK and Pakistan.

On his request, Sarina Isa also disclosed information pertaining to her assets, wherein she listed her immovable properties — namely London’s 50 Coniston Court, 40 Oakdale Road, and 90 Adelaide Road.

She has savings worth Rs21.65 million in the National Savings Centre, Karachi and an investment worth Rs25,454,310, while her foreign income remained Rs4,731,076 in tax year 2019. Sarina Isa also had Rs25,454,310 in her foreign bank account in the UK, the official added.

Justice Isa’s wife further revealed that she paid more than Rs2.4 million as tax in the past three years.

In her agricultural property, she showed 24.7 acres of land at Deh Korar, Tapa Zangipur, Jacobabad, 148.21 acres of land in Jacobabad, and land in Dera Murad Jamali. She also owns commercial and industrial land in Karachi’s Shah Latif Town and Clifton.

As for her 33-year-old daughter, Sarina Isa revealed that she paid over Rs2 million in taxes over the past three years when she had an income of around Rs16 million.

The judge’s wife said her son, who lives in London, told her that he is tax compliant with UK laws.

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