|AG’s misbehaviour stirs commotion in courtroom|
15 June 2012
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza had no right to give ruling on the prime minister contempt case after the highest court of the country delivered an elaborate and clear judgment.A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing separate petitions of similar nature filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, Mohammad Azhar Siddique, Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi and Chaudhry Muhammad Sahwa Advocate against the speaker’s ruling.The court also rejected a plea of prime minister’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan to adjourn the case till next week (Wednesday) and directed him to resume arguments Friday (today).Meanwhile, pandemonium marred the proceedings when Attorney General Irfan Qadir and some lawyers exchanged harsh words. Due to the attorney general’s ill-tampered stance and aggression the court decorum was disturbed thrice. The attorney general, chief law officer of the court, showed unnecessarily aggression in order to adjourn the proceeding of the case, some lawyers remarked.Firstly, when A K Dogar, while reading the previous court order in the case, pointed out that some words used in the order should be changed, the attorney general stood up and asked the bench to change the order. The chief justice questioned how he could dictate the court to do so. “We are not changing it,” the chief justice said.Later, the attorney general ‘acted’ again when the chief justice asked the petitioners’ counsels to remain focused and stick to the questions they raised in the petitions and give their formulation in written form. He stood up from his seat and asked the bench why it was showing hurry in the case, saying the whole government machinery was puzzled because of the approach and asked, “Whether the court wants to conclude the case today (Thursday).”The chief justice responded, saying it was their responsibility how to run the affairs of the court and regulate the proceeding; therefore, he had no right to dictate the bench. He said they would give him and the respondents as much time as they wanted. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said the bench should be respected as mentioned in the Constitution.And when the chief justice asked Aitzaz Ahsan why he did not submit oral or written objection, praying for suspending the judgment at the time of announcement, the attorney general stood up on his seat and on behalf of Aitzaz said the judges did not listen they ran away without hearing.On this, some lawyers belonging to the Lahore High Court Bar Association Rawalpindi bench objected to the remarks, but the attorney general opted to make unethical gestures. The court management in order to normalise the situation and to maintain the court decorum called in the police, who took out those lawyers from the courtroom.The attorney general accused the chief justice of bias and said he should not hear the petitions against the speaker’ ruling. Justice Jawwad said in 14 years of life as a judge, he had never seen such situation, adding; “This is very extra-ordinary.”He asked Irfan Qadir the comments gave the impression was such that he was not to assist the court in the case, while the chief justice reminded him that he was the chief law officer of the court. “The judges work under the Constitution and in accordance with law.”This was not the first time that the attorney general has shown aggression to the court. He also did the same when he was appointed as the prosecutor general during the contempt of court hearing against the prime minister, as he instead of assisting the court tried to put the bench under pressure.During the proceeding, the chief justice remarked it was the case where the judgment had been concluded as neither an appeal was filed nor was a request made for its suspension.Hamid Khan, Imran Khan’s counsel, argued that Speaker Fehmida Mira had usurped the authority of appellate authority and obstructed the course of justice and access to justice by not sending the reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide the matter.AK Dogar, the counsel for Azhar Siddique, maintained that by automatic application of Article 63(1) (g), Gilani ceased to be the prime minister of the country after 9:30 am on 26-04-2012 when the order was announced by a seven-member bench convicting him for persistent wilful and deliberate defiance of the court order.He said after the 18th Amendment, the Article 63(1) (g) had been changed and as a consequence the role of speaker and the ECP had become redundant or irrelevant.Zafar Ali Shah, Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi and Chaudhry Muhammad Sahwa also concluded their arguments, while Aitzaz Ahsan would commence his arguments today (Friday).
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