Latest Pakistan News / Islamabad – Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Thursday urged the prime minister’s counsel, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan to advise his client to not show disrespect towards the court.
The eight-judge bench headed by the chief justice started hearing of the intra-court appeal challenging the Supreme Court’s order in a contempt case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani here today.
The chief justice remarked that if the premier wrote the letter to Swiss authorities for reopening graft cases against President Asif Zardari, the matter would be settled.
Ahsan presented his arguments before the court and requested the court to dismiss the case.
He said that Gilani was appearing before the court in a personal capacity and if convicted, it would be Gilani who would be sent to jail and not the prime minister.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar insisted that the prime minister should have taken the initiative in re-opening those cases.
The court said it had shown patience in the two years and three months since it ordered that the matter be taken up with the Swiss.
Ahsan pointed out that the Swiss authorities had themselves closed the cases in 2008, when Zardari took office, on the grounds of immunity, and that there was no third party to claim the funds.
The chief justice also expressed his displeasure over certain parts in the draft of the appeal.
He said that a country’s prime minister should have high ethical standards and that the language of the appeal gave the impression that the premier wanted to influence the court’s judgment.
Three paragraphs of the draft were later removed on the directions of Chief Justice Iftikhar after Ahsan and the advocate on record agreed.
The chief justice said that the judges had taken their oaths under the Constitution and that they gave judgments in accordance with the Constitution.
Also, Justice Tariq Parvez in his remarks said that the prime minister keeps reiterating that he “freed the judges”. He moreover said that whatever a prime minister does, he/she does in his/her official capacity.
“We refused to take oath under the PCO and did not request anyone to reinstate us,” Justice Parvez said.
The premier’s appeal had said it would be ironic to send to prison a democratically elected prime minister who had released detained judges of the court even before taking oath as the chief executive.
Filed by Ahsan on Wednesday, the appeal had immediately been fixed for Thursday before an eight-judge larger Supreme Court bench since the prime minister has been summoned by a seven-judge bench on Feb 13 for the framing of charges.
The appeal, citing a number of cases, requests the court to set aside the Feb 2 order of summoning the prime minister on Feb 13 and the show-cause notice in the interest of justice and suspend the proceedings before the seven-judge bench hearing the contempt case. (AP)