On this date in 2021, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, ordered that Justice Qazi Faez Isa not preside over any cases involving Pakistani politician Imran Khan. Do you know the reasoning for this order by the Chief Justice? Let’s investigate this subject in depth before deciding if Justice Qazi Faez Isa would treat Imran Khan fairly.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, in my opinion, would do his best to ensure that Imran Khan is treated fairly, keeping the Constitution and the law in mind. Why and how, you might wonder. Even when he disagreed with his fellow judges on issues like assembling a bench, judicial appointments, or significant cases, Justice Qazi Faez Isa never participated in any judicial conspiracies. Instead of participating in underhanded plots against his fellow judges, he has a track record of preserving legal norms per the Constitution and the law.
You may recall the uproar after Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s actions during the Judicial Commission’s proceedings with Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial were made public record by recording the Commission’s proceedings, and Isa voiced objections to judicial appointments. His dedication to openness and fairness in the judicial system is displayed in situations like writing letters to Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood over not convening the Judicial Commission’s meeting, among others.
Unlike other justices, Justice Qazi Faez Isa has never made information about his or his family’s financial situation public. Instead, he has made his whole financial portfolio public on the Supreme Court’s website. He hopes to be remembered favourably as a just judge and chief justice. As a result, I have no reason to assume he will allow Imran Khan to undermine constitutional values and legal norms.
Let’s discuss why the former chief justice ordered Justice Qazi Faez Isa to halt hearing concerning Imran Khan. This occurred when Justice Gulzar Ahmed gave these directives while reviewing the case filed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa against Imran Khan. It was explained that Justice Qazi Faez Isa should not preside over any cases involving Imran Khan to uphold the ideals of justice, as he had previously filed a petition against Khan on a personal level.
This petition was filed in response to an initial investigation by Justice Qazi Faez Isa into allegations that Imran Khan had a hand in funnelling money from a mysterious fund called the Development Fund to members of parliament. Justice Qazi Faez Isa initially presided over this case as part of a two-person bench. Still, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed eventually elevated the case to a full five-person panel.
In a letter to Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Qazi Faez Isa emphasised that his petition against Imran Khan should not compromise the ideals of justice. You are aware that the Imran Khan government brought many claims against him in the form of a presidential reference, and this petition was filed in response. It was a trying period for Justice Qazi Faez Isa and his wife when they were investigated by the courts, the FBR, and other government agencies during the presidential reference conducted by the administration of Imran Khan. But despite everything he’s been through, he’s now Pakistan’s Chief Justice.
Despite Imran Khan’s admission, following the fall of his administration, that the reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa was a political blunder on his side, a fair assessment of the allegations against him is still necessary. To rebuild public faith in the courts, which has been declining over the past few years, would be his greatest challenge. Gaining the respect of his fellow judges, putting an end to favouring some judges over others in high-stakes cases, and developing a reliable procedure for bench formation are also critical obstacles, particularly in matters before the Supreme Court.
By taking these measures, Justice Qazi Faez Isa will restore the respectability of the judicial system and, more crucially, make justice more accessible and less expensive for the general public.