Justice Qazi Faez Isa barred from hearing cases against Imran Khan until his petition against the premier has been resolved
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that he had not approved the disbursement of Rs. 500 million development funds for any parliamentarians, prompting Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed to dispose of the matter.
During proceedings, Justice Qazi Faez Isa—part of the five-judge special bench hearing the case—said he had received a WhatsApp message from an unknown source alleging that massive amounts had been issued for building roads in NA-65, which is represented by a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. However, the matter was dismissed as there was no way to prove the veracity of the documents.
While disposing of the case, the chief justice observed that Justice Isa had a case pending against Prime Minister Imran Khan and barred the senior judge from hearing any cases related to the premier until the situation was resolved.
Last week, the bench took up the case on media reports that the prime minister had approved the distribution of Rs. 500 million in uplift funds for PTI and allied legislators ahead of Senate elections. Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan on Thursday read out a statement from the prime minister stressing no funds had been distributed.
Additional Advocate General of Punjab Qasim Ali Nawaz Chowhan also assured the court that no public funds had been distributed among lawmakers. To Justice Isa’s questions about whether the document he had received via WhatsApp was genuine, the attorney general said it could not be considered as it would make the judge a complainant in the case.
Justice Isa responded that he was only drawing attention by asking whether the document was genuine or not. “No, no, this is a complaint because it is your WhatsApp message,” the AGP replied.