ISLAMABAD: A visibly irked Supreme Court on Thursday expressed serious concerns over the performance of the attorney general’s (AG) office and its inability to assist the court properly in important cases.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, presiding over the three-member bench of the apex court, summoned AG Irfan Qadir in the courtroom and conveyed to him the court’s concern regarding his office’s performance. The chief justice advised him to engage capable barristers for the purpose of assisting the courts.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja told AG Qadir: “We were expecting your assistance in the Balochistan law and order case. Justice Chaudhry recalled that your deputy attorneys were not even able to utter a single sentence and when the court insisted for proper assistance, one of them tendered his resignation.
“Today we resumed the hearing of the Lal Masjid case after a long time because on the last date of hearing one of your deputies was not well prepared. But even today (Thursday) he was in court without any preparation and was not able to assist the court.”
In response, Qadir told the bench to take the appropriate action against officials who were unable to assist the courts. An irked chief justice remarked that if action was to be taken by the bench, those officials will not even be able to practise law as official lawyers.
Meanwhile, Justice Khawaja said: “It is your duty, Mr AG, to monitor your office,” to which Qadir gave assurance to the justices that he would monitor his office efficiently hereafter.
Qadir was appointed the AG of Pakistan recently by the prime minister during his contempt of court case trial. As the prosecutor in the case, Qadir did not assist the seven-member trial bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, saying that he could not find any evidence against the prime minister from official records and requested the court for the PM’s acquittal instead.
During the trial proceedings, Justice Mulk had clearly asked the AG that as the prosecutor in the case it was his responsibility to present and produce such arguments and documents that could lead the accused (prime minister) towards conviction. But the bench’s remarks went unheard.
While talking to The Express Tribune Qadir said that he did his duty as per the Constitution and presented whatever the facts were. Regarding the judgment in which the court mentioned that he did not assist the court as a prosecutor, he said: “It seems that you people [media persons] and those who are sitting inside [judges] are not aware of the Constitution.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.
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AG Irfan Qadir said, “It seems that you people [media persons] and those who are sitting inside [judges] are not aware of the Constitution.” ----- What a pity! And I must confess, I agree.