PM contempt: SC orders Aitzaz to complete evidence by April 18

Published: April 12, 2012

Aitzaz advises the court not to stress much upon presenting premier, president before international magistrate. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: While adjourning the hearing of the contempt case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani till april 13, Friday, the Supreme Court directed the premier’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan to complete his evidence by Wednesday, April 18. 

Aitzaz however said that he cannot promise if he would be able to complete his evidence by the date given.

Speaking to the media on the premises of the Supreme Court after the hearing, Aitzaz said that the emphasis of his arguments during today’s hearing was mainly upon the Article 10 (a) of the Constitution, which says that every citizen of Pakistan has a right to fair trial.

“Any judge, who takes notice of any incident, without a petition filed or an FIR registered, automatically becomes a complainant in the case and hence is not eligible to hear the case.”

He reiterated that President Asif Ali Zardari’s enjoys immunity during his presidential tenure. “I don’t deny when people say [the $7 million in the Swiss banks] that it is public money and should be brought back to the country, let [President] Zardari’s tenure be over, then he could be tried.”

“As long as he [Zardari] is the president, he enjoys immunity and cannot be presented before any international magistrate.”

He said that if the president is sent before any international magistrate then in the future “anyone else could be summoned” by an international magistrate as well. “Today it is Zardari, tomorrow, it might be any other elected president or prime minister, even an army chief or the chief justice.”

“He is an elected, constitutional president, not an army general who came into power by force.”

Aitzaz was presenting evidence before a seven-member bench of the Supreme Court which resumed the hearing of the contempt case against the premier.

He argued that the contempt of court ordinance of 2003 is obsolete and that a new ordinance was presented in 2004.

The premier’s counsel also said that his client had acted according to the summary sent by the Ministry of Law. He also argued if holding the prime minister in contempt is right or not.

The last hearing on March 27, was adjourned by the Supreme Court due to Aitzaz’s illness.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • vaqar
    Apr 12, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Beating about the bush and scrapping the barrel are two things which come to mind. Mr Ahsan is trying diversionary tactics as he has nothing of substamce to defend his client.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 12, 2012 - 10:59AM

    They would try to get the PM if not then his family members just like what the SC has been doing with Bhutto family. From Justice Munir to PCO CJ nothing has changed, the slective justice continues where high treason is fine but petty ego cases must be tried.

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  • Mo Sheikh
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:01AM

    What a two-faced man you have turned out to be Mr. Aitzaz. May God forgive you for your actions and deceptions.

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  • Ashraf P
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Show them Aitzaz sir ! The judges are starting to exceed their mandate. They deserve to be criticized just like any other arm of the state. It is obvious that the judges are acting on behalf of more powerful forces.

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  • Apr 12, 2012 - 11:13AM

    writing is very much on the wall now………!

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  • syed Imran
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:13AM

    If Aitizaz is trying to tell the nation that he is siding with truth than he is sadly mistaken. What he trying to defend is an open anarchy by the rulers and future will tell that he did the greatest damage to dispensation of justice in this country.

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  • Karim
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Thats why I hate Lawyers……..they present facts as false and false things as facts.

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  • Indian Kashmiri
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:20AM

    people belonging to legal profession and that includes judges, are in a win win situation

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  • Asad Hasan
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, should know the basic tenets of a person being found in contempt of court (a “contemnor”).

    The following four elements are involved

    Existence of a lawful order
    The potential contemnor’s knowledge of the order
    The potential contemnor’s ability to comply
    The potential contemnor’s failure to comply

    It follows that it hardly matters what summary was produced by the law ministry. If above points hold, the person is in contempt. Period.

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  • Not me
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:35AM

    So every person who comits a contempt of court can adopt the same argument that the court against whom contempt was comitted cannot hear the contempt proceeding.And then in other court he can go and say you were not witness to contempt or say he want to cross examine the other judges.
    Mr Atizaz do not make a joke of your arguments

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  • Sehr.Siddiqui
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:37AM

    Aitezaz is trying to dealing it on technical grounds ignoring the facts on the ground. He is setting most dangerous trend for the nation. Remember every culprit has a justification for the crime he commits.

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  • Mahmood
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Now aren’t we an interesting contradiction, Mr. Ahsan? Your client is in fact preventing the fulfillment of Article 10 (a) whereby all attempts to bring any semblance of transparency to the process are being hampered by both your client and yourself. Contempt of court obsolete? Is this an attempt by yourself to in fact justify being in contempt of court. Let’s not make a circus of this.

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  • Mahmood
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Now arent we an interesting contradiction, Mr. Ahsan? Your client is in fact preventing the fulfillment of Article 10 (a) whereby all attempts to bring any semblance of transparency to the process are being hampered by both your client and yourself. Contempt of court obsolete? Is this an attempt by yourself to in fact justify being in contempt of court. Let’s not make a circus of this.

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  • Blithe
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Aitzaz is throwing everything and the kitchen sink at this – it doesn’t
    matter if it’s relevant or not.

    Frankly, SC has a lot of patience .

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  • butt jee
    Apr 12, 2012 - 11:57AM

    Most of the constitutional experts in Pakistan, particularly the ones who were involved in framing of 18th Amendment are of the view that Article 10 (a) has nothing to do with PM’s case. We all know that Aitezaz Ahsan actually has no argument in support of his client but like many other mortals he is more loyal to his master than the native soil.

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  • faizan
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:07PM

    This is just wastage of time. In punjabi, we call it “Rang Bazi”

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  • Khalid Javed
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:13PM

    @Ashraf P:

    People like Aitzaz Ahsan work for their own personal aggrandizement agenda instead of keeping the national interest supreme. They use their professional prowess to play around with the intricate legal terms to please their bosses & in the process tarnish, damage and dismantle the sacred institutions like supreme court.

    .

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  • MA
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:15PM

    Aitzaz has been the biggest disappointment since the judges restoration, what has happened to him?

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:18PM

    Well Mr. Aitizaz good job done. You have been paid for the services rendered at the cost of Pakistan. Which kind of people you are? Musharraf was a criminal because you did not like him but Zardari and Gilani are heroes because they gave you enough money and a seat in senate.

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:28PM

    Ashraf P sb….read comments of Asad Sb….those are the 4 points which defines ” contempt “….refrain from giving sweeping statements…courts restraints hv far exceeded govt`s defiance..while the govt has made a mockery of the word ” democracy “…ask any person in the street.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:30PM

    much the best,excellent,most impressive and most entertaining puppet show between the government and the judiciary once again has been restarted in supreme court to waste time and money and to show and prove that who is more powerful and authentic either Supreme Court or the government.

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  • zaryal
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Changing of mind has caused irreparable damge to the reputation of Itizaza.
    Itizaaz saab its 2012 not 1994,everyone is an analyst,you cannot fool people through blend of arguments!!Recommend

  • Alucard
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:53PM

    @ Asad Hasan: Very well listed but Dr Ahsan is fully aware of these points. In fact the central dispute is whether the supreme courts order of asking the government to put the Head of State of a sovereign nation -of Pakistan- on trial is lawful or not. Certainly there is a strong school of thought that says this is both unconstitutional and against the spirit of international law and norms. He is merely extending this point further by saying that if you put 1 of the top state officials in a foreign court it will set a dangerous precedent that any top official including CJ can be summoned in foreign courts.

    The PM merely refused to comply with an unconstitutional order. The judges need now to stop making this an ego issue and wait for Zardari to leave the presidency before relaunching the cases as is custom in most countries. Of course Zardari could be impeached too, but that wont happen under this Parliament.

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  • Lalai
    Apr 12, 2012 - 12:57PM

    Well this is the problem with our Judiciary. It is said that absolute power corrupts. As our parliament doesn’t have the power to hold the judges accountable, they are crossing every limit.

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  • Imran Ali
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:01PM

    Its political judiciary………….just anti PPP.

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  • u liar
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:18PM

    Mr. Ahsan is right. Presidents enjoy immunity from prosecution not only in domestic courts , but also under international law- in the latter case, immunity is abrogated if they commit the crimes stipulated in the ICC charter. The constitution of Pakistan is also clear about this issue.

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  • MAD
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:36PM

    Hmmm threatening the Supreme Court now are we Barrister Sb. ALl this for a Senate seat. There was a time when you would have won an NA seat in Lahore unopposed cause none of the other parties would have put a candidate against you solely out of respect. Never again sir.

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  • Gilgiti-No voting right but Proud Pakistani
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:41PM

    The GANG of black sheep trying to rescue their leader Zardari,,,,,,, all are in the game…..

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  • Beatle
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:48PM

    @Karim:
    The “All Favourites” (so-called) judges are basically Lawyers (OR Liares).

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  • Tahir Younus
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:52PM

    @Mirza: Well Mirza sb! advise your govt. to extend the presidential immunity to all the jayalas as well. After all bhutto family and their party gave so many sacrifices for the democracy,hence, they have every right to compensate themselves for the sacrifices, the quantem of compensation may be trillions of Rs, off course, as their sacrifices are priceless. This is called: “Democracy is best revenge of the ppp, by the ppp and for the ppp, but from the poor people of Pakistan.

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  • atif
    Apr 12, 2012 - 1:56PM

    Mr Aitizaz how low you will go more to defend the undefendable.

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  • Uza Syed
    Apr 12, 2012 - 2:08PM

    What a Aitazaz Ahsan is doing in there what he ought to be doing, period. He is a great tactician and as defence attorney he must know and apply all the tactics to defend interests of his client; you all can make morality an issue which has no business in matters of right or wrong (legally!!!!). If the constituion provides protection to Zardari as president then PM Gillani must uphold the constitution or violate it and face the implications elaborted right in the same constittion. In my view, we all must enjoy this legal battle and wait for the final verdict instead of calling a defence attorney all kind of names, let the man do his job. If his acts were illegal you can be rest assured that the bench would not tolerate him, would they?

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  • Ahmed
    Apr 12, 2012 - 2:17PM

    @Asad Hasan:
    Appreciate the clarity you pump on this item…..

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  • Adeel759
    Apr 12, 2012 - 2:24PM

    In all 33 years of my life what I heard about Barrister Ahsan is that he is one of the best lawyers in Pakistan, but this heading reflects Aitzaz Ahsan has lost the argument. I am shocked that he couldn’t come up with better argument.

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  • jamal
    Apr 12, 2012 - 3:08PM

    just wondering, who should hear contempt of court of a full bench of 17 judges. all judges are party for it. that means its ok to disregard orders of 17 judges because as per Mr. LPG they cant hear the case because they are party in it.

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  • saleem
    Apr 12, 2012 - 3:29PM

    OMG so much of sponsored comments!!!!! One can make out where are these emanting from! Emma Duncan correctly called us “Deceptive people in the land of deception” Facts wont change if we act like ostrich. Give Aitazaz a break he commands respect more than any commentator here.

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  • Ashar
    Apr 12, 2012 - 3:45PM

    he thinks he is showing his skills, actually he is losing credibility

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  • Ashraf P
    Apr 12, 2012 - 4:33PM

    @Khalid Javed: Did you say “sacred” ? Yeah, right. After what they did to Bhutto and what they did under Mushy, they are “sacred” indeed.

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  • amjad
    Apr 12, 2012 - 4:45PM

    PCO judges are always PCO judges, its proven beyond any doubt.

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  • Samina Noman
    Apr 12, 2012 - 4:54PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB0CkB7mRiY

    Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle
    Razzle Dazzle ‘em

    Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it
    And the reaction will be passionate
    Give ‘em the old hocus pocus
    Bead and feather ‘em
    How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

    What if your hinges all are rusting?
    What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?

    Razzle dazzle ‘em
    And they;ll never catch wise!

    Give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle
    Razzle dazzle ‘em
    Give ‘em a show that’s so splendiferous

    Row after row will crow vociferous

    Give ‘em the old flim flam flummox
    Fool and fracture ‘em

    How can they hear the truth above the roar?

    Roar, roar, roar!

    Throw ‘em a fake and a finagle
    They’ll never know you’re just a bagel,

    Razzle dazzle ‘em
    And they’ll beg you for more!

    Give ‘em the old double whammy
    Daze and dizzy ‘em
    Back since the days of old Methuselah
    Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

    Give ‘em the old three ring circus
    Stun and stagger ‘em
    When you’re in trouble, go into your dance

    Though you are stiffer than a girder
    They’ll let you get away with murder
    Razzle dazzle ‘em
    And you’ve got a romance

    Give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle
    Razzle dazzle ‘em
    Show ‘em the first rate sorceror you are
    Long as you keep ‘em way off balance
    How can they spot you’ve got no talent
    Razzle Dazzle ‘em

    Razzle Dazzle ‘em
    Razzle Dazzle ‘em

    And they’ll make you a star!

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  • Justice
    Apr 12, 2012 - 5:04PM

    One sided court decisions will create negative impressions. SC should not feel pressure from media or news paper columns, they should decide as per law only. It’s quite common that right wing media always unleash propaganda against PPP. But PPP is not running away, they always face courts. President Zardari didnt run away, he faced false cases in Jail. Neither PMLN govt nor Mushraf govt ever proved any case against him.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Apr 12, 2012 - 5:16PM

    Mr. AA got both CJ and Judiciary restored and now I am sure he will also get their attitudes restored according to the spirit of law. Right now these superior Angels are towing the same line which only brought destruction if seen from their past judgements and records. Right now it is One Way Traffic.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 12, 2012 - 5:31PM

    The case has entered in an interesting phase . The only way out has left to consider the point raised by the learned lawyer in the interest of the country . The point raised are vallid and can’t be ignored .

    Gilani is an elected representative of public and only public has ultimate right to punish him . So let’s wait .

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  • Truth matters
    Apr 12, 2012 - 5:45PM

    what new evidence is coming forth now? the SC is waisting everyone’s time through these tactics. The law is clear make a decision and move on!

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  • Apr 12, 2012 - 5:51PM

    it seems advocate is working according to his wishes, nothwithstanding, the orders of lords justices..

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  • SM
    Apr 12, 2012 - 6:06PM

    EVERYONE IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS … whether it is Zardari or Nawaz… After all, if we are an Islamic Republic, the Quran takes precedence over any constitution made by man.

    Let us refer on the immunity issue to the Quran and Sunnah, as after all the 1973 Constitution says that “Islam shall be the State religion of Pakistan.” and that no legislation shall be enacted repugnant to the Quran and the Sunnah. So the government of the day should try and follow the 1973 constitution, rather than misinterpret it to their heart’s desire.

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  • Hadi Ansari
    Apr 12, 2012 - 8:01PM

    With hind sight if one were to explore the reasons and group of people/peoples primelarily responsible for current state of Pakistan ,one would find two groups of people in the lead.
    One is Legal Community and the other is Religious entities.Both these groups consider their point of view as non negotiable since they think they are THE custodian and well wishers of the country.So what can you expect from defence lawyer.He has accepted that dlrs seven millions belong to people and must be brought to country’s coffer.Believe me tomorrow he will deny it in the court.
    What he needs to be reminded is that there is something called Concience and Moral value.Delaying tactics on his part defending comtempt of court by the PM is deplorable.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 12, 2012 - 9:17PM

    @ A.K.Wilson ., you snatched my words .

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  • Sidra Babar
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:23AM

    Judges are voilating constitution by asking PM to write against the president immunity…they should be held in contempt of court…not Gilani.

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