ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday adjourned hearing of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition challenging the presidential reference filed against him over alleged non-disclosure of assets in his wealth statement till Tuesday.

The reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa alleges that he acquired three properties in London on lease in the name of his wife and children between 2011 and 2015, but did not disclose them in the wealth returns.

A ten-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard the case regarding proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa .

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Babar Sattar, a member of the legal team of Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, argued that no person, institution or government could go beyond the law and everyone was bound to disclose his assets. However, no citizen was required to disclose the assets of his wife or other family members except the parliamentarians, he added.

Under the Public Representation Act, said Babar Sattar, only members of the parliament were bound to disclose the assets of their family members. No such restriction was imposed on a judge to disclose the family members assets, he added. Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked whether the judge should not disclose his family’s assets.

Babar Sattar said the judge only disclosed his own assets. The president and the prime minister could not do anything beyond the law. Justice Maqbool Baqar said it meant that the president and the prime minister could not overlook the default procedure.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said a proper review of the facts could not eliminate the fundamental right of a judge. Justice Umar Ata Bandial said leaving the case to the tax commissioner alone would be in violation of Article 209.

The Supreme Judicial Council could allow the tax commissioner to make the decision by declaring it a suitable forum, he added.

Lawyer Babar Sattar said under the tax laws, no civil servant had been prosecuted till date. The tax authority took steps only in view of the target in the case, he added. He said the president had no information about the sources of income of the judge’s children.

He said if the president had used an open mind, the matter would not have come to the Judicial Council on the report of the Asset Recovery Unit and the Federal Investigating Agency. The Asset Recovery Unit duty was planning a research that did not have legal protection, he added.