SC notices to PTI lawyers worry PBC

Lawyers body says Babar Awan Faisal Fareed had assisted court to the best of their abilities


Hasnaat Malik October 30, 2022
Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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ISLAMABAD:

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) expressed its serious concern on Saturday over the Supreme Court’s order, seeking reply from two PTI lawyers over the government’s contempt petition regarding May 25 order.

In a statement, PBC Vice Chairman Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry and Chairman Executive Committee Masood Chishti stated that they were shocked to learn that the Supreme Court issued notices to Dr Babar Awan and Faisal Fareed.

The statement said that the notices were issued in a case wherein both the lawyers appeared on the court’s call and they assisted the apex court to the best of their experience and ability during very odd circumstances.

“Neither Dr Babar Awan nor Mr Faisal Fareed, were party in the case of Islamabad High Court Bar Association, nor they filed their wakalatnamas and/or undertakings,” the PBC statement said.

Four apex court judges were apparently reluctant to issue a contempt notice to Imran Khan over the violation of May 25 order, wherein the PTI was restricted from marching near Peshawar Morr in Islamabad.

It is also learnt that Imran Khan had engaged senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja to plead his case in contempt matter, which would be taken up next week.

On October 26, a five-judge larger bench of the apex court, showed restraint and just asked Imran and two PTI lawyers, Dr Babar Awan and Chaudhry Faisal Hussain, to submit their responses.

The bench was headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprised Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

The larger bench noted that their response was necessary to ascertain the fact whether or not the PTI chief had defied the Supreme Court’s order on May 25.

During the PTI’s long march on May 25, Imran and his supporters had reportedly made their way towards D-Chowk, prompting the government to summon army for the security of the capital’s Red Zone.

It was unusual that the judges deliberated among themselves in the courtroom at great length before passing an order. It was visible that the members of the bench had different views on the matter.

Justice Naqvi even asked Additional Attorney General Chaudhary Amir Rehman how the government’s contempt petition was maintainable, when the matter had already been disposed of by the bench.

However, Justice Yahya Afridi maintained his opinion that a contempt petition should be initiated against Imran.

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