ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) Thursday adjourned the hearing of contempt case against Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani till Monday.
Pleading before the seven-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, Ahsan said the judge who picked up one among many responsible persons for contempt trial, is unworthy to hear the pertinent case, adding the judge who issues show-cause notice or frame charge-sheet, cannot hear that case.
Despite their good intention, the five judges of the seven-member bench do not deserve to sit in the bench, Ahsan said adding a complainant could be the judge in accordance with the previous law with several exceptions to the contempt case; however, no such exception exist now.
He added this article cannot be qualified with any restriction.
Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani queried as to no restriction is imposed on the basic rights. On this, Ahsan said it is impossible where the Constitution did not impose any restriction.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said there is difference in law between a complainant and a judge who issues show-cause notice, querying Ahsan if the court’s jurisdiction will also be considered under Article-10A.
Aitezaz said the judge who takes suo motu notice of any issue is not authorized to hear that relevant case, adding the Constitution requires the present bench not to hear the case against the PM Gilani.
Justice should be not only done but tangible as well, Ahsan noted.
Justice Sarmad asked, ‘Can judges not take up contempt proceedings against anyone during a hearing of any case?’
Aitezaz replied a judge, in this case, may remand the case to another judge after taking contempt notice.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked the prosecution of any case will not be possible if the Article-10A is considered independent of all laws.
Replying to this, Ahsan stressed Article-10A relates to fundamental right which cannot be denied, underscoring it would not have been necessary to incorporate the article in the Constitution if it (article) had not been meant to have any bearing on the law.
On this, Justice Mulk queried, ‘Does the modus operandi enshrined in Contempt of Court Ordinance stand in contradiction of Article-10A?
The PM’s counsel submitted the method adopted by the sitting bench, runs counter to the Article-10A.
The court on request by Aitezaz Ahsan, adjourned the hearing early at 1130 PST today till Monday. SAMAA
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