The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Monday threatened to protest inside courtrooms if a presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa is not withdrawn by June 14.
The reference alleges that the apex court judge did not declare a foreign property in his wealth statement.
Speaking to the media , SCBA President Amanullah Kanrani said, “Justice Isa is being punished for the sins he never committed”.
“Tell me, which article Justice Isa has violated? If you talk about the code of conduct, then no judge will remain here”.
Kanrani hoped Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa would “tear the reference papers” and said: “I will burn a copy of the reference against Justice Isa inside the courtroom.”
The SCBA president added: “When you disqualify politicians on Article-62 and 63, judges should not have the right to make decisions about themselves. A third party should take decisions against the judges. The parliament should decide about the judges.”
The SCBA and the government came face-to-face after President Arif Alvi filed a complaint at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against alleged misconduct of Justice Isa and another apex court judge, who allegedly hold foreign properties either in their names or through their spouses.
Following the controversy, the SCBA demanded President Arif Alvi’s impeachment for filing the reference while superior bars expressed solidarity with the top court judge.
“We will not leave Justice Isa to get targeted. We are not against accountability but against discrimination. We respect all the judges including the chief justice of Pakistan,” continued Kanrani on Monday.
Giving details of the protests, he added, “Our protest will not be an ordinary one. We will now protest inside courtrooms, we will lock down the courts. Now the culprits will be dragged on the streets. We will not burn the streets but the courtrooms.”
The SCBA President, however, refused to apologise and said, “Whoever tries to do politics on Justice Qazi Faez Isa, should do politics on our bodies.”
“We will not wait for any phone call; we will not end the protest over any call. There are 350 complaints across the country. We will not let Justice Qazi Faez Isa be sacrificed.”
Kanrani said, “On the basis of Article-209, an honest judge is being targeted and this is the reason why all the lawyers have taken a firm stand for him.”
According to the SCBA president, “If the reference is not withdrawn on June 14 then references against all the judges will be opened. They will not be able to find any judge after June 14 because every judge will be found in the court box.”
Last week, SCBA demanded President Alvi’s impeachment for filing the reference against Justice Isa.
Urging parliamentarians to file an impeachment reference against the president, Kanrani had termed Alvi a “dummy president” and added that he had “no rhyme or reason to hold office”