Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is deeply concerned about the timing of, and apparent intention behind, the presidential reference with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the Honourable Justice Qazi Faez Isa under Article 209 of the Constitution.
HRCP believes that the government does not fully appreciate the repercussions this reference will have on the sanctity of the superior judiciary and the subsequent political fallout. We believe that any mala fide acts on the government’s part will further weaken the constitutional institutions of the state.
The timing of this reference is perturbing: not only has it effectively leapfrogged over other references pending with the SJC, but the review petitions filed against Justice Isa’s judgement in the 2017 Faizabad sit-in case also remain undecided.
A wide segment of civil society and the legal fraternity has already expressed its dismay with what is being perceived as an attempt to undermine the independence of the judiciary and make it subservient to the wishes of the executive. HRCP reposes its confidence in the ability of the SJC and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to overcome the crisis created by the reference filed by the government against Justice Isa.