Contempt law hearing: 'Parliament can form laws which are needed, reasonable'

The case was being heard by a five-member bench headed by Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Web Desk July 31, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing petitions agains the contempt law, has said that the parliament has the right to form those laws which are needed and have a reason behind them, Express News reported on Tuesday.

The case was being heard in the Supreme Court by a five-member bench comprising Iftikhar Chaudhry, who headed the bench, and Justices Shakirullah Jan, Khilji Arif Hussain, Jawad S Khawaja and Tassadduq Hussain Jilani.

During the hearing, the federation’s counsel, Abdul Shakoor Paracha, said the parliament’s authority over law making could not be challenged, reports

He argued that the new law did not restrict the judiciary’s power in any way and that the law had not been passed to undermine the judiciary, to which the chief justice said that the new law, contradictory to the government’s beliefs, had flaws and being a matter of public interest, could be moved to court.

The petitions had been filed against the new contempt law the very next day after it was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari.

The contempt law was said to be aimed at protecting newly elected Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf from being forced to write the Swiss letter.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had refused the federation’s request for more time to prepare arguments.