The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) Thursday detached the Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir as the prosecutor in a contempt of court case against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain.
It should be mentioned that the SC removed AG Irfan Qadir from the Malik Riaz contempt case due to his biased behaviour.
The apex court on Monday had reserved the judgment as to whether AG Irfan Qadir could serve as prosecutor or not in the contempt case.
The attorney general had also submitted a request to make Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry a witness in the case, adopting the position that judges have appeared before the court in the past. However, Justice Ejaz Afzal told the attorney general that being a prosecutor in the instant case, he was not supposed to defend the accused.
He further reminded the AG that he had been accused of being biased. Irfan Qadir however replied that Dr Arsalan Iftikhar had leveled accusations against him. The attorney general submitted that in order to prove Malik Riaz wrong it is important for the chief justice to appear before the court. He further requested the court to make Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry the prosecutions witness.
The court however, observed that the list of evidences, the learned attorney general was submitting shows as if he was defending the accused.
“Being a principal law officer, you should remain in your own jurisdiction”, the court asked the AG. Irfan Qadir however contended that he was an impartial law officer and assisting the court as per law.
Justice Ejaz Afzal however, observed that the court would examine as to whether the learned attorney general could serve as prosecutor in the instant case.
Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for Malik Riaz while appearing before the court contended that as per law, the court was not authorized to change the prosecutor. He further submitted that senior judges should hear the instant case instead of the present bench.
Dr Basit further argued that his client Malik Riaz should be freed if the chief justice does not appear as witness in the case since the contempt proceedings began as a result of Malik Riaz scandalizing and levelling serious charges at the chief justice at a press conference.
He further contended that since the dignity of the office of prime minister was increased when the former prime minister appeared before the court in a contempt case, therefore, the dignity of the court would also be increased, if the chief justice appeared before the court as a witness in the instant case.