ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday disclosed that he had received documents via WhatsApp showing uplift funds were provided to a lawmaker of the ruling PTI's coalition party.
Justice Isa's remarks came during a hearing Thursday at the Supreme Court of Pakistan over a notice of uplift funds in light of the upcoming Senate polls. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed presided over the hearing.
According to the Daily Jang, Justice Isa revealed that the documents he had received indicated that the funds were given to a lawmaker from the NA-65 constituency, to which the Attorney-General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan said the documents in question are part "of your complaint and would be reviewed".
The judge responded saying he was "not the complainant, [but] just pointing [it] out; perhaps, you did not listen to me".
In response, the AGP said: "You have been sharing your observations for a long time. It is I who has not been heard. You received a message on your WhatsApp, so you are a complainant."
"We are not the enemy. We want the implementation of the Constitution and for the corrupt practices to end," Justice Isa replied. "An army of tweets yesterday was against me and I didn't want to mention it.
"It is the duty of the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] to stop corrupt practices… I do not believe Article 248 protects the prime minister on politics.
"Is it the prime minister's job to distribute envelopes [of money]? The prime minister has said the five-year period is short. Those who believe in the Constitution have reservations," the top court's judge remarked.
CJP Justice Ahmed, in his remarks, clarified the apex court's judges were not controlling the Prime Minister's Office.
To which the AGP said a statement submitted by PM Imran Khan termed the news in the media as incorrect.
The court noted that Punjab and Sindh had submitted their responses in the matter.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial then asked if PM Imran Khan was personally accountable. "The prime minister has constitutional protection and is accountable when the matter is related to him.
"If the government is accountable, then the prime minister cannot be held accountable. The Attorney General of Pakistan should not allow any illegal orders to be issued," Justice Bandial added, to which the AGP objected.
The judge responded by saying that an "answer to the court order was sought from the premier's secretary. The government is run through [the help of] secretaries," he remarked.
Justice Isa asked the AGP why he had not raised today's objections a day earlier, to which the latter said constitutional questions could be raised at any level.
"No development funds can be given to any member of the Assembly," he added.