Justice Faez Isa ‘ostensible owner’ of properties in UK, SC told

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Shafaqna Pakistan:The government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that senior judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa was the ‘ostensible owner’ of expensive properties in United Kingdom as his family members purchased the assets at a time when they had no independent source of income.

In pursuance of the court’ order, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan submitted his reply in identical petitions, filed by bar associations and bar councils, challenging the presidential reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa for allegedly owning foreign properties, but didn’t disclosing in his wealth statements. Justice Faez Isa had challenged the presidential reference in the Supreme Court as well.

The attorney general informed the court that the petitioner’s spouse and children own expensive properties in the United Kingdom which were purchased in 2004 and 2013 at the time when they had no independent source of income of their own.

“The inescapable conclusion which follows is that the properties are benami and that the petitioner is the ostensible owner,” the attorney general submitted. He contended that the reference only directs the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to conduct inquiry into the issue.

“The simple and straight forward answer to this query to the Council comprising of petitioner’s own peers would have been to disclose the source of funds employed to purchase the properties, the mode and manner of acquisition of foreign exchange and its transfer to UK,” the AG contended.

He submitted that the petitioner (Justice Faez Isa) instead of providing simple answers to the Council took a very evasive stand and started vilifying and castigating the complainant.

“Complainant may not be symbol of propriety but as a judge the petitioner should have displayed such a character,” the AG said. “Admittedly, the information provided by the complainant is true and indeed admitted by the petitioner therefore, instead of assassinating the character of the complainant, the petitioner should have come forward with the truth qua source of funds, acquisition of foreign exchange and its transfer to UK for the purchasing of the properties,” the AG added.

The attorney general further submitted that all expect a very high standard of rectitude, probity and honesty of behaviour from the learned petitioner judge. Anwar Mansoor Khan submitted that throughout his life he has been an ardent advocate of rule of law and independence of judiciary. He said the reference has been filed by the president in performance of his constitutional duty and it is the constitutional obligation of the SJC to inquire into it.

“The allegations levelled and insinuation made against him in the petition under reply a totally incorrect hence categorically denied with full vehemence,” the AG submitted.