Islamabad - A division bench of Islamabad High Court yesterday deferred the hearing of the government’s intra court appeal in a matter related to the provision of bulletproof vehicle to former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary.

The division bench comprising Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi and Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the government’s ICA challenging a single bench’s verdict in which it had ordered to provide bulletproof vehicle to the former chief justice.

The dual bench adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday (today) after Riaz Hanif Rahi Advocate submitted an application to become party in this matter.

In this matter, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who is a puisne judge, while hearing advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi’s application on 26-01-16 observed that prima facie, the high court (IHC) had no jurisdiction to direct the federal government to provide a bulletproof car to the former chief justice. The next day i.e. 27-01-16, he directed the IHC to decide the ICA in the first week of February, and said the matter before SC would remain pending.

The counsels Sheikh Ahsan-ud-Din and Taufiq Asif had moved the application against the observation of the senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court regarding providing bulletproof car to former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. They filed the application in the Islamabad High Court under section 151 CPC.

They requested the IHC to transmit the appeal to the Supreme Court or constitute a full bench for hearing of the intra-court appeal, leaving the aggrieved party to avail appropriate remedy against the opinion expressed by senior puisne judge of the apex court.

The applicants stated: “The observation of senior puisne judge unfortunately expressed uncalled for opinion against the principles of justice in proceedings wherein the applicants/respondents were neither party nor they were summoned relating to the subject matter of the ICA.”

They contended that the remarks of Justice Saqib has created serious prejudice to the case of ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar and undermined his status and respect, who had led a movement for the supremacy of the constitution and rule of law in the country. They said it was the well recognised principle of justice that a judge must avoid in all possibility of his opinion or action any case in view of the Article IV of Code of Conduct of Supreme Judicial Council.

The petitioners said the tenor of the reports of the court proceedings in news papers suggests that by keeping pending the case till the decision of the IHC tantamount to interfere or impede the path of justice, because there is every likelihood that in view of the unprecedented opinion, expressed by senior puisne judge, justice would not be done in either way because postponing the hearing till disposal of the appeal means to supervise the proceedings, which is highly uncalled for legally being contrary to article-IV of the code of conduct.

They contended that in view of the factual circumstances prima facie biasness by the puisne judge because of expressing an opinion in a pending case can be inferred, as it is flouting on the surface and referred the SC judgment in case of Asif Ali Zardari vs State. The petitioners said the observation of puisne judge would not allow the IHC to decide the appeal independently.