ISLAMABAD: Counsel for the federation sought time from the Supreme Court of Pakistan as it began hearing the 27 petitions challenging the Contempt of Court Act 2012 on Monday, saying that the case if of high importance, Express News reported.
All petitioners, including Pakistan Bar Council, Balochistan Bar Association’s former president Baz Muhammad Kakar among other were present inside the courtoom where a five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was hearing the petitions.
The petitioners maintained that certain clauses in the contempt law were against the Constitution and that they should be omitted.
One of the petitioners, former Islamabad High Court Bar Association president Advocate Ashraf Gujjar had directly challenged presidential immunity on the grounds that it is against both the Constitution and Islam.
During the hearing, federations counsel Shakoor Paracha prayed to the court that he was approached by the federal government yesterday (Sunday) and that he required some time to study the case and take further directives from the ministry.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir said that the case is first of its kind and that a period of two weeks should be granted to the federal government.
Differing from the attorney general’s request, Justice Chaudhry said that the case is not the first of its kind, but many such cases were being filed in the Supreme Court.
He further observed that once the petitioners are done giving their statements, the federal government should start giving their statement, too.
The controversial legislation – which has been termed a ‘black law’ by the opposition – is aimed at shielding the new premier from contempt proceedings similar to those that led to Yousaf Raza Gilani’s ouster from the country’s top office.