ISLAMABAD – National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has reportedly prepared a reference against Supreme Court judge Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who was member of the bench which had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case, to be filed with Supreme Judicial Council, local media reported.
The speaker will file the reference against Justice Khosa under Article 209 of the Constitution following his comments of questioning ruling of Speaker in favour of the former prime minister in the April 20 judgement regarding Panama Papers case.
“…unfortunately Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa in his judgment has attributed ‘ the failure on the part of the Honourable Speaker to inquire into or investigate the matter or to refer the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan’,” read the complaint submitted by the NA speaker.
The reference states the honourable judge termed the speaker of the Parliament loyal to Nawaz Sharif, adding that such remarks against an elected speaker constitutes disparagement of the assembly.
“The Speaker of the National Assembly was elected by majority vote of the House comprising of members from both the Treasury and the Opposition and to label him as nominee or loyalist of the Prime Minister is a mis-statement and contrary to the facts.
“It also tantamount to disparagement and breach of Privilege of the House of the National Assembly comprising of 342 Members and Speakers elected by those Members as custodian of the House.”
These comments against the speaker have been made in the Panama case judgement announced on April 20 by only one member of the bench i.e. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and not by other members.
The reference added this statement “clearly smacks of personal grudge or bias of the Honourable judge.
“Such biased and unwarranted findings of the learned Judge against the Honourable Speaker also damaged the Office of the Speaker, respected worldwide…” the complaint states, adding that the learned judge did not only undermine the parliament and office of the Speaker, but also damaged image of Pakistan abroad.
Calling him injurious to image of sublime institution of judiciary in Pakistan, the speaker wrote in the reference: “..continuation in office of the learned Judge giving him further opportunity to write such biased, ill-founded and disputed judgements would be highly injurious to the noble image of the sublime institution of the judiciary in Pakistan. His elevation as CJP would further encourage him to flout the norms of decency, justice and propriety with impunity and in contempt of the supreme laws of the land”.
On the other hand, media outlets quoting sources at Attorney General office stated that reference has not been submitted to the SJC so far.