Contempt of court: SC issues show-cause notice to PM Ashraf

Published: August 8, 2012
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SC tells Ashraf to appear personally before the court on August 27. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

SC tells Ashraf to appear personally before the court on August 27. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

ISLAMABAD: While getting its short order penned down in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) implementation case on Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on the charges of contempt of court, ordering him to appear personally before the court on August 27, Express News reported.

The show-cause notice has been issued to Prime Minister Ashraf under Article 204 of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court observed that Prime Minister Ashraf should comply with court’s orders and write a letter to the Swiss authorities.

The court had already issued an order when a contempt of court case was underway against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, in which it was told to disregard the summary made by the Law Ministry and write a letter to the Swiss authorities to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The court stated that Gilani deliberately violated the court’s orders and did not write a letter, which is why he was disqualified after conducting a trial and that Ashraf was also doing the same.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir sought more time from the court and requested that the hearing be adjourned till the first week of September, given that the case is of “sensitive nature”. However, the court denied his request and said that he had already been given enough time in the case.

The court further stated that the attorney general did not bring directives of the government on July 12, explaining if the prime minister will be writing a Swiss letter or not.

Qadir maintained that he has been trying to fill the gap between institutions and that if given more time he will be able to do that.

Justice Aijaz Afzal observed that if it was intended, the time given to Qadir was enough to resolve the matter.

‘Did not expect that PM Ashraf will be summoned like this’

Speaking to the media on the premises of the Supreme Court, the attorney general said that he was not expecting that the prime minister “will be summoned like this.”

Qadir said that he has hopes that the Supreme Court will exercise restraint and added, “Institutes should exercise restraint.”

When asked if Premier Ashraf will claim immunity, he said, “No one needs to claim immunity, it is given by the Constitution itself.”

The attorney general said that he still hoped that there could be a way out where there will not be an institutional clash.

“Before adjourning the hearing Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that he has hopes that we will find a way, according to law and the Constitution. We will make efforts to prevent a situation where institutions are in clash with each other,” he said.

Read the Supreme Court’s order here.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:26AM

    Once again for 30 seconds or for more time punishment and back to the pavilion Raja Pervez Ashraf and Raja Pervez Ashraf’s innings will be over.That’s all.

    Recommend

  • M Usama Kabbir
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:27AM

    O yes. First PM was dismissed to obscure the effect the corruption allegations on Arsalan Ibne Iftikhar Chaudhry and now the second PM will have to go because only a news as strong as dismissal of a PM can divert Public’s attention from the suspension of NAB inquiry into the corruption scandals of CJ’s son

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  • Caramelized_Onion
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:31AM

    This is great news. The Supreme Court has the public’s backing and the Govt. doesn’t. End of story

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  • asim
    Aug 8, 2012 - 10:39AM

    No one has delivered to the public; government and Judiciary both.
    People are expecting relief …keep playing time bargaining games till the next election

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  • Aug 8, 2012 - 10:58AM

    There is a petition in the SC by Ch. Nisar challenging the appointment of NAB chairman. If the SC proceeds on this and ensures the appointment of an independent NAB chairman then it could direct the new chairman NAB to write the letter.

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  • Afzaal
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:01AM

    The other day, AAZ and RPA had a detailed meeting to chalk out the strategy. To me, AAZ id to announce General Elections, immediately after Eid. Sohail Warraich’s analysis on AAZ’s re-elecetion, seems far-fetched from reality.

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  • Ishaq Khan
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Biased

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:03AM

    Meanwhile the the Court has ordered NAB to stop all investigation in Arsalan Iftikhar case and the case to start a case against Sharif bros has been adjourned till 15 September.

    Recommend

  • umayr masud
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:05AM

    What about Arsalan’s case , is it still on hold ?

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  • Mirza
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:06AM

    The assault and ambushes against elected govt continue by the PCO judges. It is great to put the Arsalan’s get rich quick case on the back burner and ambush the legislature. This PCO SC has no time for:
    Asghar Khan’s case
    BB’s murder case
    Gen Mush who threw them in detention and Sharif who attacked the SC
    Not a peep about Taseer murder and his son’s abduction
    M. Mai’s appeal
    Justice Iqbal’S Abbottabad Commission Report
    No case against terrorists, they are all released
    And 20,000 cases waiting for hearing for decades.

    Recommend

  • M Shahbaz Akhtar
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:08AM

    I agree with supreme court.
    Move on the right track, we are with you.Recommend

  • Democrat
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:10AM

    @Caramelized_Onion: having public backing does not mean SC can do anything illegal and the way it wants. They are continuously violating the constitution of this country and they should be punished for this. PM should not appear before the court.

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  • Owais
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:11AM

    Waste of time and resources. Why don’t the Supreme Court write to Swiss court’s itself.

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  • Logic Europe
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:17AM

    this a very illogical supreme court .Whatever it is doing it is bringing the whole legal system
    into disrepute By using a flimsy law of contempt of court, mr chaudhry is guilty of contempt of the people The people who support him today will attack him tomorrow He has charges of corruption against him and his family and all he has done is to stop inquiry in his case
    LETTER WILL NOT BE WRITTEN and it should not be ,. this supreme court deserves to be disobeyed A REAL TAMASHA HAS BEEN CREATED BY THESE ABUSERS OF THEIR POSTION ,A LEGAL BLACKMAIL

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Incompetent,inefficient and corrupt advisers including Attorney general will sink the ship of present government. Another opportunity for coalition partners to bargain in the name of national interest. Deputy Chaudhry may counting days to get the protocol.

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  • harkol
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Since contents of the letter hasn’t been dictated by SC, why can’t the PM just write a letter to swiss folks saying Pakistan SC has directed him to write a letter asking Swiss Authorities to reopen the case, but it is his govt’s opinion that a incumbent president of Pakistan enjoys full immunity from Prosecution in either Pakistan or elsewhere in the world.

    Swiss authorities won’t proceed on the case, when international laws provide immunity, and SC can’t site contempt as a letter would’ve been written.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Need more hanging judges.

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  • Indian
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:43AM

    The judiciary in Pakistan continues to make a mockery of itself. How will the Govt/Prime minister function if he/she keeps running around listening cases of contempt of court.. Mr. Ashraf should get ready to get fired out of the office now like his predecessor…. The question that remains is what will the judiciary do when it has no people left to take the P.M’s position as everyone will be fired out of the office by then… No doubts in the answer here, I guess the CJ will then appoint himself/herself the P.M. as a tribute to Pakistan’s political history!

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  • Naveed Javed
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:06PM

    Allah Ho Akbar!Recommend

  • Nazar
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:14PM

    timely and expected decision..salute sc

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  • Shujat Ali
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:27PM

    A new hope of Nation from Supreme Court .. I think a new era begins … Congrats Pakistan !!

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  • Tufan Agha
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:27PM

    If the Prime Minister think that the will of people of Pakistan is sacred, then he should not go to the court. Let the court decide what ever it wants.

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  • Caramelized_Onion
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:29PM

    I suppose we’re not used to seeing our civilian institutions working properly. The Supreme Court is leading the way. Let NAB/PAC/ECP/Police follow suit and work without any political interference or motives. Then the next step will be election of representatives.

    Parliament is not the only democratic institution in a working democracy. There is no democracy without checks and balances, get used to it!

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  • Alucard
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:30PM

    The pco sc is the new article 58-2B. And this time it simply can’t be deleted by a 2/3rd majority….where parliament does not reign supreme democracy cannot function for parliament is embodiment of the will of the people. No matter how corrupt, the rulers can and should only be dismissed by the people- the true masters of a republic.

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:35PM

    @umayr masud:

    Arsalan ibne Iftikhar’s case has been postponed for a few weeks, NAB investigation team dissolved and all investigation and inquiries have been put on hold by SC explicit order.

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  • Alimuddin
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:45PM

    I, as a honest and hardworking, patriotic Pakistani demand that the CJ takes suo moto notice of the ridiculous performance of the hockey team in the olympics and appoints a commission to ascertain facts and appoint sitting judges to pakistan olympic association

    Recommend

  • Asad
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:57PM

    @Indian:
    I fully endorse your prediction. Only thing I would add is that he will take the post of President, Chief of Army Staff and five Governers post also. How clever ?

    Recommend

  • Mozart
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Well done Supreme Court! One of the classic defenses of a criminal is “why do you only apprehend me?” Well because you are a criminal thats why!

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  • Hamza
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:26PM

    Justice must be done, the money earned with the toil of poor should not go in other hands unaccounted. Most of the comments here suggest that we forget things quickly, if nothing was wrong there was no point in not writing the crucial letter, yes! we want corruption to survive and that is why we see it everywhere. If we correct ourselves, these corrupt leaders will scuttle on their own.

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  • Shahid
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:39PM

    Supreme Court has literaly suspended constitution, continuously violating it. must be tried under Article 6.

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  • Tufan Agha
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:40PM

    Raja Pervez Should stand his ground and should not accept any illegal and unconstitutional verdict. He should call the session of National Assembly on 27 Aug. He should not attend the hearing. In case of verdict similar to that of Gilani, he should register case under article 6 of the constitution against the judges and should be approved by the Assembly the same day.

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  • R.A
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:49PM

    In a situation like that they say
    "no one is ready to roll down the mustache"
    But in this case Raja has no mustache
    only C.J has so please C.J
    either you roll it down or shave it and
    get Pakistan out of this ugly situation
    Recommend

  • Tufan Agha
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Some of the comments like “Supreme Court” has public back is uncalled for. Has the judges been elected through popular vote or they have been declared winner in a referandum.
    Judges are just paid servants who are now becoming rulers and king makers.

    Recommend

  • Manoj Joshi, Navi Mumbai, India
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:56PM

    The Supreme Court of Pakistan having issued a show cause notice to PM Ashraf is a rather situation that is dangerous. Although, to comment on this constitutional development is not a simple task as it is essential for a person to know thoroughly the Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Independence of Judiciary no doubt is essential for the successful functioning of any democracy more over in a Parliamentary form of government as it is in Pakistan and India as well as Bangladesh. However marginal variance is natural as every constitution is based on the customs, norms and conventions of the particular nation. Besides, the constitutional provisions of Pakistan’s Constitution can have certain specific guidelines that empower their judiciary to act in a particular manner which can be known once their constitution is thoroughly by those who would be too keen to comment on the issue. The ongoing tussle is however a bit too perplexing. The fact remains that Pakistan is passing through a phase that is critical. Time will only tell as to what is the ultimate result of this showdown whether this will mean fresh elections to their National Assembly or a fresh spell of marshal law in other words an army coup is difficult to predict. One can only hope that Pakistan is able to sail out of this constitutional crisis and democracy continues within that Islamic Republic.

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  • Maher
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:01PM

    Raja Rental, your countdown starts NOW :)

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  • zeeshan
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:04PM

    @ Logic Europe.

    Hope you know and live up to your name / initials.
    Europe is a great place to be becasue the have lived to respect the rule of Law.
    Having lived in the UK for most of my life , no one here can dare use the language that the Faisal Abdi’s of the Land of Pure and offocurse with complete immunity.

    Wake up to what PPP led Government in doing to the country, smell the coffee…

    Thanks,
    ZRecommend

  • Aug 8, 2012 - 2:12PM

    And the Game Begins, Afresh !!!!!

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  • Enlightened
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:15PM

    Watch out, the Pakistan judiciary is going to take over the country.

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  • Ahmed
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:46PM

    Public is with you CJ – Supreme Court

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  • Waka Waka
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:52PM

    Whatever… I am just waiting for the elections

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  • SM
    Aug 8, 2012 - 3:35PM

    There is no need for Prime Minister to appear before history’s most prejudiced SC.

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  • Shuaib
    Aug 8, 2012 - 3:47PM

    I think PPP has no choice but to announce elections asap!

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  • Aug 8, 2012 - 4:03PM

    @Ahmer Ali:
    “Once again for 30 seconds or for more time punishment and back to the pavilion Raja Pervez Ashraf and Raja Pervez Ashraf’s innings will be over.That’s all.”
    .
    Again, again and then again till the Crown Prince is 25.
    Innallah ma assabiriin.

    Recommend

  • International Observer
    Aug 8, 2012 - 4:41PM

    Instead of gtrivializing the issue and sacking PM after PM, it is better for Supreme court to keep parliament and govt in abetancve and take over functions of govt. They then write the letter and reopen swiss cases, and then revert and hand over govt back to PPP.
    Better maybne to just write the letter themselves. Govt wont refute that letter in swiss courts.
    SC should write letter and ask a senior judge to fly to swiss and personally hand over to Swiss authorities.

    Recommend

  • Jibran
    Aug 8, 2012 - 4:43PM

    PM should not appear before the SC. FC IG has been successfully doing this for a while now.

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  • Fida Muhammad
    Aug 8, 2012 - 5:23PM

    @Mirza:

    Those at the helm of affairs should follow the law and set an example for the rest of the countrymen. The rulers are doing the opposite. Its almost four years and they did nothing. If a person has looted nation’s money, he should be proceeded against. Arsalan’s case is investigated by NAB and NAB prosecutor himself in court admitted about the close connections between MR. Memon and Malik Riaz. In Asghar Khan case govt is not producing the relevant record as they claim it is missing including the important ISI noification issued by none other than ZAB. In BB murder case it is the responsibility of the PPP govt as being the prosector in the case to come up with evidence. It is doing nothing. Regarding Gen Mush, only federal govt can proceed aagainst a person for high treason, instead it gave Gen Mush a departure with full fanfare. Registration of cases against all law braekers and terrorists is he responsibility of the state when it is not doing anything. dont blame the independent judiciary of Pakistan.

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  • SHAHID BUTT
    Aug 8, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Why prime minister is not writing letter? Both Benazir Bhutto and Zardari were convicted in the court in Switzerland in the given case.(under charges of money laundering). Why media does not mention this fact regarding this case

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  • shahid
    Aug 8, 2012 - 6:08PM

    If the supreme court fires this prime minister the govt should ignore and refuse to honor it.

    Recommend

  • Logic Europe
    Aug 8, 2012 - 7:05PM

    @zeeshan in Europe nobody knows the name of chief justices/ judges They don’t come on tv
    the remarks from any judicial authority about the elected government will result in immediate removal of that judge . IN EUROPE AND FREE WORLD NO JUDGE WILL SIT ON HIS CHAIR IF HE FEELS THAT HE HAS BECOME CONTROVERCIAL NO JUDGE WILL BE ALLOWED TO COME BACK A FTER HE ALLOWED SUBVERSION OF CONSTITUTION BY A DICTATORS
    PCO type will not be tolerated for a day .The judges in Europe dont shamelessly support their children’s criminal activities and don’t accepts plots and and don’t interfere in parliamentary affairs They love their FREEDOM and will never accept rule of unelected people
    please wake up save your country Get this judge out Get a new one before younare chained by Army again

    Recommend

  • DrA.K,Tewari
    Aug 8, 2012 - 7:56PM

    PM should not go to the court till review petition is pending about the immunity .

    Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Aug 8, 2012 - 7:59PM

    PM should not go to the court till review petition is pending about the immunity .Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Aug 8, 2012 - 8:39PM

    @shahid:
    I agree with your comments, the Parliament is supreme and the judiciary is clearly crossing the red line

    Recommend

  • Hyper Baig
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Very good way to divert attention from Arsalan don. Jeeya SC

    Recommend

  • Asad Murtaza
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:43PM

    PPP wants to rule this country with ghunda-gardi now. Without respect for SC (and with passing laws that make the top leaders immune), the goverment has shown complete disregard for the wishes of people of Pakistan.

    Leave us Zardari. I can’t wait till a capable person comes to power and imrpvoes Pakistan.
    This current government failed on all sides (well besides winning in Corruption and Messing with judiciary)sdfsdf

    Recommend

  • Aalia
    Aug 9, 2012 - 8:56PM

    The Government should not let the third class Judiciary to disrupt the system. All the judges should be dismissed on the grounds of not performing their duties, not following the constitutions, and are targeting a particular party on the direction of some one who is behind them. The PCO judges would go to any extent to derail the elected govt. The dictatorship has changed its form only in Pakistan. It used to be generals endorsed by the SC judges now it is payback time and the sequence is reversed. The irony is SC has nothing else to do and they are sitting in ambush to assault democracy.Recommend

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