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Justice Isa review petition: SC bench refers matter to CJP Gulzar Ahmed

The Supreme Court (SC) sent on Monday the matter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed whether the present six-judge bench or a larger bench would hear petitions seeking review of the court’s verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case.

The review petitions had been filed by Justice Isa, his wife, and different bar councils, calling for the constitution of a larger bench instead of a six-judge bench. The petitions were filed regarding the inclusion of Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi in the bench hearing review petitions.

During the hearing today, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heading the six-judge bench, announced the 5-1 majority verdict. Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik who disagreed with the judgment will write a dissenting note, Express Tribune reported.

The SC said that the CJP can form a larger bench on review petitions if he wants. “As a matter of law and settled practice it is for the [honourable chief justice], as master of the roster, to determine the composition of the bench and he may, for like reason, constitute a larger bench for hearing the review petition,” the order stated.

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