Imran Khan says CJP Isa should not hear cases involving him

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan has written to the Supreme Court seeking Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s recusal from his cases.

“In order to uphold the principle of unbias-ness and impartiality it would be in the interest of justice that Justice Qazi Faez Isa should not hear matters involving me,” Khan said in his written submission to the apex court in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendment case.

The former premier made the request while referring to a previous apex court order.

The PTI founder’s submission comes as the SC, last month, reserved its verdict on the federal and provincial governments’ pleas challenging the apex court’s September 15 majority 2-1 judegment, which was announced by a bench led by former chief justice Umar Ata Bandial.

In 2022, the Pakistan Democratic Movement government made amendments to the National Accountability (NAB) Ordinance which were challenged by Imran Khan in the top court.

The move comes as the incarcerated prime minister shares a rather contentious history with CJP Isa as it was his government that had filed a presidential reference against the incumbent chief justice in 2019 for allegedly owning properties abroad under his wife and children’s names and not mentioning them in his wealth statement.

The reference was challenged by the judge in the SC and subsequently, a 10-member larger bench headed by the then chief justice Umar Ata Bandial dismissed it.

Later, Khan admitted that the filing of the presidential reference against CJP Isa was a “mistake”.

Moreover, the incumbent CJP has been part of various cases involving the former premier and his party has voiced concerns in this regard.

PTI spokesperson, as per The News, has complained of his party being deprived of justice and that even its petitions weren’t being taken up by the courts.

“The PTI core committee wants that CJP Isa should not sit on benches in our cases […] unfortunately, the kind of decisions that are being delivered are seen to be biased; the element of favouritism in case verdicts strengthens our demand,” he claimed.

‘It’s not about me but about the country’

In his four-page written submission, the PTI founder recalled Justice Athar Minallah’s remarks that the NAB amendments would benefit him, however, he said that this was not about personal gain but the greater good of our country and millions of Pakistanis who place their faith in a system that should serve them.

“Throughout my political career, I have consistently taken a stand against corruption, even at great personal risk and sacrifice, including my current imprisonment. My life’s work and sacrifices have always been dedicated to the fight against corruption and the establishment of justice,” Khan said.

Protection of corrupt individuals

Continuing, the ex-PM said that the NAB amendments were made with the sole intention of ending cases against those involved in corruption and that they did only terminated their cases but also significantly hindered the prosecution of white-collar crimes in the future.

“By undermining the rule of law, these amendments create an environment where corruption can flourish unchecked, deterring legitimate investment and stalling economic progress — harming the very people whose interest the legislators have been elected to protect.

“The amendments to NAB Ordinance, designed to protect the corrupt, will have long-term detrimental effects on our economy, making it harder for honest businesses to thrive and for foreign investors to trust our legal system,” he said.

On the issue of the abuse of powers by the anti-graft body, Khan said that the NAB Ordinance, in such cases, should be reformed to prevent such abuses.

He also referred to the Toshakhana case against him and said that a necklace worth Rs18 million was falsely declared as being worth Rs3.18 billion.

Reiterating his stance on the NAB amendments case, the PTI founder has requested the top court to dismiss the federal and provincial government’s intra-court appeals.