ISLAMABAD - Attorney General for Pakistan on Wednesday submitted before the Supreme Court certified copies of judicial verdicts and orders passed earlier by the court in support of contempt of court charges against incumbent Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
A seven-member bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk hearing the case also rejected a plea against Attorney General (AG) Maulvi Anwarul Haq’s acting as a prosecutor in the contempt matter against the prime minister. The court directed PM’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan to submit complete evidence to the court by February 27 and adjourned the hearing until Feb 28.
PM Gilani was indicted on Monday for contempt of court for wilfully defying, disregarding and disobeying the Supreme Court judgment of December 16, 2009 requiring his government to write to Swiss authorities for reopening cases against the NRO beneficiaries, including President Asif Ali Zardari.
The AGP filed documentary evidence comprising of 43 documents containing 469 pages against the PM. It includes all the orders passed by the apex court from time to time for the implementation of the Dec 2009 NRO judgment.
The AG also recorded his statement saying, “In support of charges framed against the respondent, I tender the certified copies of judgments and orders passed from time to time regarding para 178 of Dr Mobashar Hassan vs federation judgment.”
The AG asked for the court’s permission to present further evidence, to which Aitzaz Ahsan said that he may object. Aitzaz said that he reserved the right to raise objections if further pieces of evidence were produced by the attorney general. He said after the completion of submission of evidence, he reserved the right to defend his client against the same; however, he would do so after consulting his client about the evidence. He further said his client might have to go through the entire trove as these documents were not in his notice. To bench’s query, he replied that he would submit defence evidence on February 28.
The hearing was adjourned until February 28. The court directed the AG to also submit complete evidence with the Registrar office by February 27.
Earlier, during the hearing the bench dismissed an application of Shahid Orakzai, a freelance journalist, by maintaining objections of the Registrar office. The bench observed in its order that the petition was not maintainable.
At the onset of the proceedings, the bench repeatedly asked him to convince the members that his fundamental rights were violated in contempt of court proceedings. Shahid Orakzai said that the AG works under prime minister’s authority therefore he cannot act as his prosecutor and claimed that the trial would not be fair.
Justice Nasirul Mulk remarked that the prime minister did not object to his own trial. The contempt matter was between the court and the contemnor and there was no place for third party, he added. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa remarked that the court reserves the right to change the prosecutor in case he is unable to carry out his tasks properly. He observed that attorney general in a number of cases could advise the government.