Judges should remain equal to the finances of families: SC | The Express Tribune

Islamabad:

The country’s apex court in its detailed judgment in the Justice Kazi Fauz Isa case has set high levels of accountability for superior judiciary judges and their family members.

The Supreme Court, in its majority decision dismissing the President’s reference against Justice Isa, held that the judges were accountable for the financial interests of their family members.

Even senior attorneys admitted that the top court had given the federal government lawyer Drs. Accepting Farooq Naseem’s arguments on the principle of proximity, he declared that the judges should have been aware of the financial interests of their family members.

However, if they do not do so, they are expected to make reasonable efforts to gain such information, more so when they are questioned by a competent forum, written by Justice Omar Ata Bandiyal According to the decision. Presently there are about 140 Supreme Court judges working in the entire country.

The detailed judgment issued on Friday mentions the privileges and privileges of judges and their family members during service and after retirement.

It read that these rights of a judge, which he shared with his family (his spouse and family members, who either depended on him or with whom he had financial agreements) gave certain responsibilities and obligations Also played.

“One such obligation is to enjoy these privileges with dignity, prestige and discretion. In addition to the material benefits received by members of a judge’s family during and after their service, they also receive the benefit of respect and recognition, through association, by people interacting with them. “

The court observed that under these circumstances, members of the judge’s family were required to be meticulous (financially, socially and politically) in their behavior, to be generous and fair and to exchange disputes with others that the judge should Can embarrass you.

“While these responsibilities are shared by family members of all public office holders, they apply with special force to members of the family of judges because the latter is defined as theistic, law-abiding, sobering, Truthful, considered to be an incarnation of. Tongue, sensibly, cautious and prohibited, faultless, and untouched by greed, “read referring to Article II of the Judge Code of Conduct.

The court said that a higher standard was expected for a judge and his family members.

The court also referred to the note by former SC Judge Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, in the Arslan Iftikhar case, which noted that although the family members of the public proceedings were not speaking properly of the state’s actions, the alleged alleged case The facts highlighted the need for extremes. Caution and discretion in their private and public behavior and conduct.

“Generally, every adult person is recognized as an independent institution in law. However, various principles apply in relation to family members of public office holders. This is because any irresponsible act on behalf of a family member can adversely affect the judge. This approach is recognized by the Judicial Code of Conduct in various countries, ”the decision read.

The court stated that at first glance, the obligation of members of a family to remain informed about financial matters was archaic because modern jurisprudence emphasized the need to protect the rights of the individual against the state and society.

However, it stated that in order to understand the rationale behind judges’ liability or to make reasonable efforts to look into the financial matters of their family members, one has to understand the relationship of this obligation with the nature of judges. And they have a place in society.

“Judges exercise pre-eminent authority under the law. They settle disputes between litigants, hold accountable parties before them and give responsibilities and provide relief to such parties. With their authority comes an even greater responsibility to decide matters impartially, independently and according to the law. In such a situation, it is imperative for a judge to make reasonable efforts to inform his family members about the financial interests of the family members for the simple reason that if a case comes to them in which, directly or indirectly, the financial, proprietary Or others include the personal interests of any of his family members, he may reuse himself. “

The court held that judges were not as disqualified by the conduct of their family members as ordinary private citizens. “We need to consider the extent of liability on judges to be aware of the financial interests of their family members. UN Resolution 2006/23 (supporting principles) and the United States Code of Conduct only state that judges need to make reasonable efforts to inform their family members about the financial interests of their members. However, neither explained the scope of this obligation. Consequently, there is a need to determine its scope. “

The judgment further read that the formation of ‘reasonable effort’ on the part of judges would depend on the circumstances of each case. “However, a petition for lack of knowledge by a judge regarding the financial matters of his family members is untenable in light of the general trend in international behavior, obligations imposed on a judge under the Code of Conduct and public office holders, including related law judges. “

Accordingly, the court stated, there was a continuing obligation on a judge to keep him informed about the financial interests of his own family members. “This view is in line with the Preamble to the Code of Conduct, which emphasizes that judges of the country’s best courts are role models for their fellow men and women. Such high level conduct is demanded of the judges so that the institution of the judiciary can enjoy the trust and confidence of the nation for its integrity, probity, freedom and transparency. “

The court also noted that until the source of funds for the London properties was duly explained by the petitioners [Justice Isa] Family, this would allow the resulting public dispute to continue, which was neither beneficial to the petitioner for his personal capacity as a judge nor to the institution of which he is a part.

Review the petition

Justice Isa’s wife, Sarina Isa, challenged a small order previously issued by the court, stating that the court had created new ones, including the spouses and children of judges whose assets and liabilities were of public importance. Was raised to level. On the fundamental rights of all citizens of the country.

He said that the creation of such a class supported by judicial order without any basis can be seen as inhuman and discriminatory. The petitioner stated that under Article 194 of the Constitution, all judges of the superior courts took the same oath under the Third Schedule.

He said, “All the judges of the superior courts follow the same code of conduct, and they are violated by the same forum, SJC under Article 209 of the Constitution: he said in his petition.”

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