Contempt of court: Attorney-General lays out evidence against the PM

Published: February 23, 2012

Aitzaz Ahsan says he will submit his objections once prosecutor has submitted relevant documents.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Supreme Court admitted Attorney General (AG) Maulvi Anwarul Haq’s ‘documented evidences’ on Wednesday in the contempt of court case against the prime minister, while directing the premier’s counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan to submit complete evidence to the court by February 27.

The AG, who is also the prosecutor in the case, presented evidence against the prime minister one-by-one before a seven-member bench of the apex court, presided by Justice Nasirul Mulk.

“I am presenting these documents as evidence in favour of charges framed against the prime minister by the court,” the attorney general said.

On the other hand, the premier’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan told the court that he would submit his objections on documented evidences once the prosecutor had submitted all relevant documents.

The SC also directed the AG to submit complete evidence by February 27.

The court also observed that since the nature of the case was different from regular criminal cases, the court would also consider the will of relevant parties regarding the procedure of trial proceedings.

The AG presented four volumes (43 documents) pertaining to different orders and instructions of the court in the NRO judgment, which he had already submitted on February 16 before the court. The documents include the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) primary verdict and the order on the subsequent review appeal by the federal government.

Aitzaz was asked to submit a list of witnesses along with their statements in the case on February 27, a day before the seven-member bench is due to examine the prime minister’s record.  The hearing was subsequently adjourned till February 28.

Petition dismissed

Earlier on Wednesday, the same bench dismissed a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai against the AG.

Orakzai had earlier submitted before the court that since the AG was a subordinate of the prime minister, he could not be seen fit to act as his prosecutor.

The bench, however, dismissed his plea, saying that the issue was between court and contemnor. Justice Asif Khosa also said that the court reserved the right to change the prosecutor in case he is unable to carry out his tasks properly.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.

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