ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday announced that the government had decided to withdraw the Curative Review Petition filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, calling it an act of state-led vengeance by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) regime.
He tweeted that the curative review was motivated by the desire to “harass and intimidate” Justice Isa at the behest of his predecessor, Imran Khan.
The PM Office released a statement saying that a cabinet meeting chaired by the premier had already authorized the withdrawal of the reference, and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar had been instructed to take back the curative plea. The federal cabinet had previously approved the withdrawal of the curative review petition in July last year.
After the cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah remarked that there was no precedent for the curative review petition filed against Justice Isa, claiming that it was only submitted to put pressure on the judge.
He further said that Justice Isa was a reputable judge who had been treated unfairly by individuals such as former adviser to then-prime minister Imran Khan on accountability, Shahzad Akbar.
On my direction, the government has decided to withdraw the Curative Review Petition against senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Qazi Faez Isa. The Curative Review was based on ill-will & meant to harass & intimidate the honourable Judge at the behest of Imran Niazi.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) March 30, 2023
The interior minister also stated that the law secretary had informed the federal cabinet members that no prior approval was obtained before submitting the reference. He added that a sub-committee had been formed to take action against all those who made “false references” against Justice Isa, and that the sub-committee had been asked to submit a report on the matter.
However, it is uncertain whether the sub-committee came into effect and whether a report was submitted after it was established.
In 2021, the Imran Khan-led government had filed a curative review petition against the order of the majority in the review petitions of Justice Qazi Faez Isa that were passed on April 26 of that year.
Nevertheless, the registrar of the Supreme Court had returned the instant petition after raising objections to it, stating that once the review petition is decided, it cannot be reviewed.