Former Supreme Court Judge Justice (Retd) Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said that the verdict against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case will be remembered as controversial as the verdict against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1970.
In an interview with VOA, Justice Ijaz Ahmed, who retired in 2015, also spoke on the reference against Justice Qazi Faiz Issa, calling it an incident of how agencies interfere in the appointment of judges.
He said that during the sit-in in Islamabad in 2014, former PTI leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi had claimed that Nawaz Sharif would be ousted from power through the Supreme Court. He said that the judges of the Supreme Court were surprised to hear this because at that time Justice Nasirul Mulk was the Chief Justice of Pakistan and he was the right man.
“However, it was later the Supreme Court that finally dismissed Nawaz Sharif in 2018 in the Panama Papers case”.He added
Was the decision in the Panama Papers case correct? In response to this question, the former judge said that there are many decisions of the Supreme Court which are not accepted by the people and they say that the decision is not correct, such as the case of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. So this is a similar case.
Talking about the reference against Justice Qazi Faiz Issa, he said that the Supreme Court had removed the reference but on his part Court had asked his wife to appear before the Federal Board of Revenue in its decision. The Supreme Judicial Council and the Chief Justice will look into the matter.
To what extent is there any interference in the appointment of judges? In response, he repeated an incident that while he was appointing some judges, he received a telephone call from a General of Inter-Services Intelligence. “On the call, the general asked me are you going to appoint judges, so I said yes,” he said, to which he asked me to appoint someone as a judge. I asked him to make me a lieutenant general, to which he replied that it could not happen, so I said it could not happen too.
He claimed that there was no interference in his time and when someone gave him this opportunity, others intervened.