Lawyer objects to formation of SC bench hearing PCO judges case | Pakistan Today

Lawyer objects to formation of SC bench hearing PCO judges case

ISLAMABAD: Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hasnat Ahmed Khan, on Tuesday objected to the formation of the Supreme Court bench hearing contempt of court cases against the PCO judges.
Dr Basit contended that three judges of the bench had had an “ugly incident” with his clients, thus they did not want these judges to hear their case. A five-member SC bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui,
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, was hearing contempt of court cases against the PCO judges, who had violated a restrain order passed by a seven-member SC bench on November 3, 2007 and took oath under the PCO.
The court then told Basit that his application over the bench’s formation would be considered today (Wednesday). Raza Kazim, counsel for Hamid Ali Shah, Ali Zafar, counsel for Justice Yasmin Abbasi, Dr Khalid Ranjha, counsel for Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry and Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Khurshid Anwar Bhinder concluded their arguments.
Kazim said the judges and the generals did not fall in the category of civil society, thus contempt of court proceeding could not be initiated against the PCO judges unless there was a solid evidence against them, adding that damage to reputation was very difficult to repair. He said the court had the power to issue mandatory judgement, which it did not in the case of PCO judges.
Dr Ranjha argued that the Supreme Court had passed many judgements when his client was elevated to the high court. He said the although the November 3,2007 judgement was a law, the judgments of November 6 and 19 were also law, adding that that there was a need to accept the judgements of the Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar-led court.
He said this case was not between two people or between the court and the citizen, but between the judges, adding that the court should show restraint in the case. Zafar gave a statement that in the short order of July 31, 2009 in Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed case, it was said the judicial principle was that ‘no judge of superior court will take oath in pursuance of a constitutional usurpation by an unauthorised person’.
He said for future it has become law. He questioned whether the SC’s 14-member bench could issue notices to Supreme Court and high court judges, saying that there was no example of judges being issued notices. He said there was no mention of a contempt of court
in July 31, 2009 judgement as well as the verdict on the review petition passed on October 13, 2009. The court adjourned further hearing until today (Wednesday). Later, Dr Basit told reporters that the judges on whom he had objected were Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Tariq Parvez, besides an another judge.
In its July 31, 2009 judgement, the SC had directed the government to file references in the Supreme Judicial Council against those judges who had taken oath under the PCO and had violated the seven-member bench’s order.

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