Awan contempt case: SC adjourns hearing till April 10

Supreme court adjourned the hearing of contempt of court case against the former law minister Babar Awan till April 10, Aaj news reported.

According to our reporter Fakhar ur Rehman, Awan appeared before the court today but due to the absence of Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, the apex court could not indict him, therefore, the hearing was adjourned till April 10.

A three-Judge bench comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Athar Saeed resumed hearing of a suo motu notice taken on Babar Awan’s address at a press conference held in Press Information Department on December 2, after initial order of the larger bench on memo issue.

Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri, Deputy Attorney General, appeared on behalf of Attorney General (AG) and submitted a request for adjournment.

He apprised the bench that the AG had to appear before a bench in Quetta branch registry on April 4 in connection with a case regarding law and order situation in the province and he had requested for accommodation due to his tight schedule.

Barrister Ali Zafar, counsel for Babar Awan, also objected to proceedings and said that according to the Supreme Court Rules 7, the Attorney General had to act as prosecutor in contempt cases and the contempt charges could be framed in his presence.

He said in his absence, proceedings might be illegal and read out the relevant para of Rules 7. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali told him that the Court could still frame charges.

Ali Zafar contended that he would not consider it appropriate for the bench to frame charges in absence of AG. Accepting AG’s request, the bench adjourned proceedings till April 10.

Talking to mediamen after proceedings, Barrister Ali Zafar expressed his optimism that the Court would not opt for framing of charges and he would succeed in persuading the bench to drop its further proceedings.

Citing a verdict of Justice retired Ajmal Mian, he said that the Court ought to drop contempt proceedings, if the contemnor appeared and stated that he did not intend to ridicule the judiciary.