Judges not above law: Justice Baqar


-Justice Isa case
By Shakeel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: Justice Maqbool Baqar asked the Supreme Court on Friday to treat judges in accordance with the law as the court resumed hearing of the Justice Qazi Faez Isa case.
“An impression has been created that judges are above the law,” Justice Baqar said while responding to the federal government attorney Dr Farogh Naseem’s arguments. “Perhaps we are more accountable than anyone else. I am conveying on behalf of brother judges that we are not above law but treat us in accordance with law.”
Justice Baqar wondered as to who stopped the government from initiating tax proceedings against the petitioner judge’s spouse.
“Why is the government shying away from proceeding in accordance with tax laws,” he questioned. “Questioning the judge to give a money trail is premature. You have to establish that the judge’s source of funds was used to purchase UK properties.”
During the proceedings, Dr Naseem again emphasised that Justice Isa is bound to disclose properties owned by his spouse. “Failure of the judge to give a money trail is tantamount to misconduct.” Dr Naseem said. “It is the obligation of the sacred trust that the judge is unable to explain the property of the spouse.” He also said that the Supreme Judicial Council is the only forum which can proceed against the judges.
However, Justice Baqar asked that every action of the government is based on law. Therefore, “tell us the law which is violated by petitioner judge”.
Naseem cited an Islamic law to establish that the husband has close proximity with his wife. However, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah told him that he referred to the Islamic law out of context.
He also asked whether same Islamic principles will be applicable for non-Muslim judges.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah wondered if the government’s counsel is saying asking if women have any legal rights in Pakistan. The hearing of the case has been adjourned until June 15.
Agencies add: The Supreme Court of Pakistan lashed out at the Ministry of Railways on Friday, saying the entire system has gone corrupt.