IHC issues warrants of Islamabad DC over defiance

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday issued arrest warrants of Deputy Commissioner Islam­abad Irfan Nawaz Memon for defying the court orders.

A single bench of IHC com­prising Justice Babar Sattar is­sued the directions while hear­ing a contempt of court case against Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon and others due to the prolonged de­tention of PTI leader Shehryar Khan Afridi and Shandana Gul­zar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance. During the hearing, Raja Riz­wan Abbas Advocate, the coun­sel for Irfan Nawaz Memon, in­formed the court at the outset that Irfan Nawaz Memon was not present before the court as he had received directions from his mother that he must receive them at his ancestral home for their onward journey to Saudi Arabia on 22.02.2024, which is why he had no option but to leave for Khairpur.

Justice Babar said in his writ­ten order, “Let non-bailable ar­rest warrants be issued for the production of Deputy Commission­er, Islamabad Capital Territory, Irfan Nawaz Memon, before this court on Wednesday at 9am.” “The arrest war­rants will be executed by the Inspec­tor General of Police, Islamabad, the Inspector Generals of Police for any of the provinces and territories of Pakistan in whose jurisdiction Irfan Nawaz Memon is found, and DG FIA if the respondent is found at an air­port, seaport or border-crossing. He shall be produced before the court at tomorrow at 9:00 am,” directed the judge. He further said that let the Min­istry of Interior and DG Passports also ensure that the name of Irfan Nawaz Memon is placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) so that he is unable to leave the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan.

The bench stated that Irfan Nawaz Memon is an accused in a matter that is being tried by this Court on a day-to-day basis and the order sheet re­flects that while the show cause no­tice was issued to Irfan Nawaz Memon on 15.08.2023, the proceedings in the matter have suffered delays to accom­modate the respondents and the con­venience of their learned counsels. It mentioned that his counsel had in­formed the court on a previous hear­ing that the said respondent wished to proceed for Umrah on 22.02.2024 and was advised that the trial will hope­fully be concluded before then. On 19.02.2024 respondent No.1 sought exemption from personal appearance at the hearing today but this Court did not grant exemption from personal appearance as the matter was fixed today for final arguments. 

The bench said that it is inexplicable how, despite the denial of exemption from personal appearance, the Depu­ty Commissioner could choose to defy the order of this Court and choose not to appear before the Court today even though the matter was fixed for final arguments and the time for hearing was fixed at 02:30 pm on the request of the learned counsels for the parties to suit their convenience. The court ob­served, “Given that the petitioner has already been issued show cause notice and a charge has been framed he was under an obligation to appear person­ally before this Court. The petition­er was before the Court yesterday i.e. 19.02.2024 and it was in his presence that he was informed that his request for being granted exemption from ap­pearance before the Court at the hear­ing today is not being allowed.” “His refusal to abide by the order of this Court and skip the hearing today with­out any plausible explanation, prima facie, constitutes contumacious con­tempt of the order of this Court to ap­pear in person today and appears to be aimed at delaying the adjudication of the matter and frustrating the pro­ceedings from being concluded.

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