SC verdict in Justice Isa case: Opposition calls for president, PM’s resignation

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ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition on Friday, while welcoming the Supreme Court’s verdict on several petitions pertaining to the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case, demanded that President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan should step down for filing an “unlawful, unconstitutional, and false reference based on pure mala fide intentions.”

In a joint statement, PML-N, PPP, Awami National Party, JUI-F, JI, Qaumi Watan Party, National Party (Hasil Khan Bazinjo) said the “truth” about the Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) had been exposed and such instruments of political victimisation and vengeance-driven agenda must be shut down at once.

They alleged that the government tried to twist the arm of the superior judiciary by knowingly filing a false, misleading, and defamatory reference based on mala fide intentions.

The combined opposition congratulated the judiciary over “this great victory” by upholding the law, the Constitution, and its supremacy along with the lawyers and bar councils all across the country and paid them rich tribute for “rejecting and defeating such a fascist mindset”. They said lawyers had once again played an exemplary role at a crucial moment in the history of the country, adding that this episode had “exposed” Imran Khan’s mindset.

The PPP termed the reference against Justice Isa a conspiracy against the freedom of the judiciary and asked if there would be the accountability of president, prime minister, and law minister following the landmark verdict.

In a statement, PPP leader Dr Nafisa Shah recalled that eight years earlier, on June 18, 2012, the then prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was disqualified “as he refused to deviate from the Constitution”.

PPP social media and research coordination cell Sehar Kamran also demanded the resignation of President Alvi after the dismissal of the presidential reference against Justice Isa. 

“President Dr Arif Alvi has lost the moral obligation to remain in the post and I demand his resignation,” she said.

She said the verdict of the Supreme Court had exposed the ill intentions of the government and exposed the mindset of PM Imran.

The Supreme Court had on Friday dismissed the presidential reference against Justice Isa in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) while accepting his petition seeking the reference’s dismissal.

The SJC had initiated the proceedings over Justice Isa’s alleged non-disclosure in wealth returns of three London properties acquired on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015.

The case was wrapped up after Justice Isa’s spouse provided a money trail pertaining to her foreign properties and the Federal Board of Revenue provided its input on the matter.

Justice Isa, in his petition challenging the reference, had requested that the apex court declare that the Asset Recovery Unit formed by the government to look into the properties had no legal standing and therefore the actions taken by the unit with regard to the reference against him and his family are illegal.

The petition had contended that no proper research was ever conducted and the property details gathered were simply the product of online surveillance. 

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