Pakistan: Wife of SC judge files petition against Minister Fawad Chaudhry

Sajjad Hussain
·2-min read

Islamabad, Mar 22 (PTI) The wife of a Supreme Court judge in Pakistan filed a petition in the apex court on Monday to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Minister Fawad Chaudhry over a 'highly offensive' tweet against her husband.

Sarina Isa, wife of Supreme Court judge Qazi Faez Isa, referred to a tweet by Chaudhry on March 19 in which he challenged the judge to resign and contest elections to gauge his popularity.

“Listening to the speeches of an under trial judge (Justice Isa) of the Supreme Court for a week. If [I] answer, then lectures will start [ranging from] ‘we are saddened to (hear this) to we have been insulted’,” Chaudhry had said in the tweet.

Continuing with the same tweet, the federal science minister said: 'Sir, if you too are fond of politics like your godfather Iftikhar Chaudhry (former chief justice of Pakistan), then resign and contest elections for the councillor. You will get to know about your popularity and acceptance.' The petitioner said that Justice Isa was a judge of the Supreme Court and not an 'under trial prisoner' and that by referring to him as an under trial judge, committed contempt of court.

Objection was also raised on the word ‘godfather’, a term she said was used for criminal mafias.

'Ch Fawad Hussain has violated his ministerial oath of office, the Constitution of Pakistan, mocked and ridiculed this honourable court's former chief justice, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and committed contempt of this honourable court,' she said in the petition.

Justice Isa has been in the spotlight since February 2019 when he issued a verdict on a sit-in by an extremist group in 2017, in which he severely criticised the role of the security and intelligence agencies.

The Prime Minster Imran Khan-led government last year initiated proceeding to remove Justice Isa, on allegations of hiding property in the UK. The property matter is yet to be closed, though no grounds for action against Justice Isa have been presented.

In a case related to failure to remove Justice Isa, a 10-member bench of the Supreme Court has been hearing a set of review petitions. Justice Isa had asked the court that he would be arguing the case himself and also asked for live coverage of proceedings.

The beleaguered judge sometimes issues scathing remarks against the government during hearing of cases, while the government has initiated a probe of tax evasions against his wife.

Political observers believe Justice Isa is in line to become the next chief justice of Pakistan in 2023, when national elections, if he survives the allegations of corruption. PTI SH IND IND