ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned till today hearing of Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition challenging the presidential reference accusing him of not disclosing assets in his wealth statement.

The reference filed against Justice 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 wealth statement.

A 10-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and consisting of 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 of proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

During the proceedings, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah observed that there was no proof that spouse and children of Justice Qazi Faez Isa were dependent on him.

Justice Yahya Afridi questioned if the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) served any notice on the Supreme Court judge over non-disclosure of three properties abroad.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah said it was not established how the complainant got addresses of the foreign properties.

Justice Isa’s counsel, Muneer A Malik, reading out contents of the reference, said the government did not allege these are benami properties. He said the government had alleged that Justice Isa violated tax law and did not disclose assets of his spouse in his wealth statement.

A calculated media trial of the SC judge was started after leaking information related to the reference to the media, he said. He tried to establish that the entire information was collected through surveillance.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar said there was nothing concrete to endorse the claim. He asked Malik whether the SC judge went abroad in recent past and stayed in the properties in question. He said it was not a case of an ordinary litigant but a matter related to a fellow judge and the entire Supreme Court was on trial.

At the start of the hearing, Hamid Khan, the counsel for bar councils, requested the full court to adjourn the case until next week keeping in view SCBA annual elections and opposition parties’ protest.

The court rejected Hamid Khan’s plea for adjournment on objections raised by the attorney general.