On Friday, it was reported that the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, has agreed to the incumbent government’s request to withdraw the previous government’s curative review petition against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa. The former PTI government had argued that the April 26, 2021 majority judgment in the Justice Isa review case was unjust. The Supreme Court had overturned its 2020 decision and ordered an investigation into the properties of Justice Isa’s wife and children. The curative appeal was filed on behalf of President Dr Arif Alvi, former prime minister Imran Khan, former law minister Dr Farogh Naseem, and law secretary.
The incumbent government later requested the withdrawal of the curative appeal, and the CJP reserved judgment on the matter on April 10 after a chamber hearing. In the written order issued today, he allowed the civil miscellaneous applications filed by the appellants and dismissed their curative review petitions as withdrawn. The order noted that 18 applications had been submitted to the court for the withdrawal of the previous government’s curative petition.
During the April 10 hearing, the Attorney General for Pakistan and the Additional Attorney General for Pakistan had appeared before the CJP on behalf of the applicants. The CJP observed in the order that the bar on filing a second review petition was declared in the Supreme Court 1980 Rules. He further cited a previous SC ruling stating that “under the current scheme of the law, the appellants appear to be precluded from filing a review against the subject judgment because it has finally disposed of the review petitions filed against the original judgment.”
The order noted that the parties that filed the curative petition had not disputed that the existence of this jurisdiction had not been considered by the court until now. The appellants were seeking the withdrawal of the curative review petitions. The order acknowledged the right of the appellants to withdraw their curative review petitions filed against the subject judgment, without prejudice to the fact that the pendency of proceedings or the presence of a party is not necessary for the court to exercise suo motu jurisdiction.
In conclusion, the CJP has accepted the incumbent government’s plea to withdraw the previous government’s curative review petition against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. The order notes that a second review is barred by law and that the court alone is empowered to revisit, review, or set aside any of its previous judgments or orders.