ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing petitions against the new contempt law, said that those holding public offices could be prosecuted if they were to commit contempt of court, Dawn.com reported on Wednesday.
As the hearing resumed, the federation’s counsel Abdul Shakoor Paracha continued his arguments, saying that as per the Constitution, conducting contempt of court proceedings was a matter for the judiciary.
Stating that he would base his arguments on the existing law, Paracha said that the parliament could grant immunity to anyone and could also legislate on the subject of immunity, in the light of which, the court could not declare the parliament's actions “mala fide”.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja commented that although lawmaking was the parliament’s job, interpretation of those laws was an authority the court possessed.
A petitioner’s lawyer enquired how issues not mentioned in the Constitution would be dealt with, to which Justice Jilani replied saying that the law should reflect the gist of the Constitution.
“We respect the parliament but a law cannot be made by simple majority,” said Justice Jilani.
In response, the federation’s counsel said that the parliament’s authority to legislate could not be taken away from it.
The chief justice, replying to this statement, said that those holding public offices were not immune from prosecution in instances where they may commit contempt of court.
Earlier, in the previous hearing, the federation’s counsel had admitted in front of the Supreme Court that the Contempt of Court Law 2012 could have been aimed at saving newly-appointed Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
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