Contempt of court: SC indicts Malik Riaz

SC dismisses Riaz's counsel's appeal to adjourn the hearing till a decision on contempt law is taken.

Web Desk August 09, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan indicted real estate magnate Malik Riaz on Thursday with contempt charges, Express News reported.

Denying court’s decision, Riaz’s counsel Dr Basit presented a signed statement to the judicial bench hearing the case which stated that the charge against his client was “ambiguous” and that he did not understand the indictment.

Dr Basit maintained that the text of the charge did not contain the words explaining that Riaz had spoken any contemptuous words against the judiciary.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir also concurred with Dr Basit.

Riaz’s counsel further said that the court should include the contemptuous words in the text so as to explain charge against his client, because he would have to clear his stance.

The judicial bench observed that the Supreme Court has all the relevant record that explains the contempt done by Riaz.

Petitioners Ashraf Gujjar and Liaquat Qureshi maintained that the recording of Riaz’s contemptuous press conference could also be merged with the text so that the charge becomes clear to Dr Basit.

The hearing was adjourned till August 29.

The court also dismissed the request of Riaz’s counsel, Dr Abdul Basit, to adjourn the hearing till any decision on the contempt law is taken. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the whole world knows about the importance of the case and that a timely decision was needed.

Riaz had tendered an unconditional apology for his press conference in which, with a pocket-sized copy of the Holy Quran in his hand he had hurled serious, but contradictory charges against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and his son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, on an issue that is sub judice, and in defiance of an apex court order to speak to the media.