Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court has expressed "shock" at the media knowing of CJP Gulzar Ahmed's verdict in the case of Prime Minister Imran Khan issuing development funds to lawmakers before he has read it.
He has written to the Supreme Court registrar inquiring why he was not sent a copy of the judgment.
"I have learnt that an order/judgment (don't know which one) was passed in the subject case on 11 February 2021, and released to the media. This is shocking since, as yet, I have not received the file with the order/judgment," he wrote.
Justice Isa went on to state that it is "settled practice" that after the verdict is penned (in this case by CJP Gulzar Ahmed) "it is sent to the next senior judge, and so on".
He said that Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who was also a part of the bench hearing the case, received a copy, but he did not.
He has asked that the case file be provided "so I may finally read the order/judgment" and requested that answers to the following questions be provided:
(1) Why the order/judgment was not sent to me?
(2) Why the settled practice of sending it to the next senior judge was not followed?
(3) Why was it released to the media before I read it (let alone had the opportunity to sign it in agreement / disagreement)?
(4) Who ordered its release to the media?
CJP says Justice Isa must not hear cases about PM
The case in question pertains to the release of Rs500 million to each lawmaker as development funds, a decision signed off on by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A five-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Ijazul Ahsen heard the matter.
Following the hearing Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued a written verdict.
“In these circumstances, it would not be proper for the judge to hear the matter considering that he had already filed a petition against the Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his personal capacity,” says the written order issued by the chief justice.
He further noted that in order to uphold the principle of un-biasness and impartiality, it would be in the interest of justice that the Judge (Justice Isa) not hear matters involving the prime minister of Pakistan.