ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Pakistan’s top court dismissed a presidential reference Friday against a Supreme Court senior judge.

According to a Supreme Court short judgement, the 10-member larger bench dismissed the government reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The case was dismissed by the larger bench after Isa’s spouse appeared before top court judges via video link Thursday and provided a money trail pertaining to her foreign properties.

The Supreme Court termed the reference invalid and said: “The reference is declared to be of no legal effect whatsoever and stands quashed.”

The government filed a reference in May 2019 alleging Isa owned three properties in the UK in his wife’s and children’s names acquired between 2011 and 2015 while not disclosing them on his tax returns.

Isa rejected the allegations and moved to the top court against the government reference last August.

However, the court in short order allowed the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and tax authorities to issue notices to Isa’s spouse and children to explain the nature and source of funds regarding properties in the UK.

Tax authorities would complete an investigation and proceedings within 60 days and submit the final report before the secretary of Supreme Judicial Council.

“We are thankful to the supreme court to dismissed the illegal Presidential reference which was based on malafide intention,” Munir A. Malik, counsel for Isa, told reporters after the verdict.

Isa, a senior judge of the top court will be the Chief Justice of Supreme Court in 2023.

Last year, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Amanullah Kunrani, accused the government of filing the reference after Isa’s verdicts.

He was referring to two cases, a violent sit-in by a religious group in Islamabad in 2018 and the killing of scores of lawyers in a suicide attack in southwestern Quetta in 2016.

In both cases, Isa held a section of law enforcing agencies for patronage and failure.

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