Public office holders not immune to prosecution for contempt: CJ

Although lawmaking is parliament’s job, interpretation of laws an authority court possesses, says Justice Khawaja.

Web Desk August 01, 2012

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, 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.


izhar usmani | 11 years ago | Reply i believe we still live in the world of throne/kingdoms, wish to give all powers & immunity to the king (president) & his court (Ministers/yes man) the authority of corruption & high handedness. some powerful/corrupt love to influence Judiciary to work under there whelms & their evil desires. Please respect Islam's supremacy of judiciary over the ruling junta, & this also spirit of democracy. we have lost a lot by suppressing judiciary and can not afford more.
hamza khan | 11 years ago | Reply

sick and tired of this CJ.

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