PM contempt case: Aitzaz insists for trail under Article 10A

ISLAMABAD: The hearing of Contempt of court case against PM Yousaf Raza Gilani is adjourned till April 19 in Supreme Court of Pakistan, Aaj news reported.

Counsel for Prime Minister, Aitzaz Ahsan continued presented his arguments before the court as two days are left for him to conclude.

Earlier the court directed him to sum up his arguments till April 18th, and then Attorney General will proceed further.

A seven-judge bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, was hearing the case.

On Monday, the court termed the NAB report on the non-implementation of the NRO verdict unsatisfactory and sent a clear warning that only the rule of law and Constitution would prevail in the country instead of one-man rule.

Agencies: Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, on Monday argued before the Supreme Court that further proceedings in contempt of court issue by the same bench which had initiated it, would lead to its disqualification on touchstone of Article 10A.

The counsel resumed his arguments before a seven-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk over the contempt proceedings being initiated against his client.

Aitzaz said that his case did not pertain to bias or recusal but it was a case covered under Article 10A which had brought a radical change in the process of trial.

“It is a case of disqualification and competence for the judges to sit on the bench in a matter in which they themselves initiated the case against me,” he added.

Now, a judge who initiated contempt could not sit as judge in his own complaint as it was prohibited under Article 10A, he added.

Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that it was not a case in which the contempt was committed in face of a judge or his bench but it was an issue of contempt of whole Court and there was difference in both cases.

Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani questioned the counsel to tell them how their directive on NRO could be implemented.

Aitzaz replied that the Court was not an appropriate forum for implementation of the judgement as under Article 187; the issue could be sent to Islamabad High Court.

He said it was the anomaly to which he was raising objections.

He agreed with Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa’s observations that he wanted to attack customs and practices.

Aitzaz citing a number of judicial verdicts said that every law in the country could not be in conformity with Article 10A after 2010.

Justice Khosa told him that a right of appeal was provided in High Court through Intra Court Appeal.

The counsel contended that he was objecting to competence of the bench and said that right of appeal was provided in all kinds of laws.

Citing a judgment over issue of bias and disqualification of the bench, he said justice Douglas was even refrained from reading newspapers.

He said such an issue could not be agitated before the other bench as trial had not been commenced.

Justice Khosa observed that if counsel’s arguments on this point were taken, it would vitiate the whole proceedings in the trial courts.

Justice Nasir ul Mulk told Aitzaz that another eight-member bench had also endorsed their opinion to the case.

Aitzaz argued that the same issue was not taken up before the other bench as the issue did not arise in the initial proceedings.

He said that the Chief Justice could form a three-member bench to hear the case and five other judges to hear his appeal but the present bench of seven members Judges was not competent to conduct further proceedings.

He said after all the Judges were carrying the cross of justice to which Justice Khosa responded that they would carry according to the constitution and law.

Justice Osmani remarked that they were sitting for a national cause.

Aitzaz replied that he was also presenting a national cause as the President of the country should not be humiliated before a Swiss magistrate. He said even India had protested over Shah Rukh Khan’s incident.

“If judges sit for their own cause, it leads to their disqualification,” he added.

He said that the judges had to see the constitutional provisions which were at higher pedestal than laws.