Contempt of court case: Tensions rise between chief justice and IG FC's lawyer

Supreme Court also orders the interior secretary to appoint the interim IG FC within 3 days.


Web Desk December 11, 2013
Supreme Court also orders the interior secretary to appoint the interim IG FC within 3 days. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: There was a strong exchange of words between Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the Inspector General of the Frontier Corps’ (IG FC) lawyer Irfan Qadir during the hearing of the IG FC contempt of court case, Express News reported on Wednesday.

A three-member bench hearing the case included Chief Justice Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Amir Hani Muslim.

“I will not present my client in front of a political institution,” Qadir said, referring to newspaper articles which state that the judiciary is increasingly politicised.

The chief justice later remarked that Qadir should have apologised and the court is only showing patience on the request of Attorney General Munir A Malik.

“Qadir is interfering in the courts business and his license can also be suspended,” the chief justice further said. The lawyer responded by saying that the court can even go ahead and cancel it.

The chief justice also stated that Qadir cannot say anything about this case as he is not the official lawyer since his license has still not been approved by the court.

“We are not sitting over here and playing games," the Chief Justice further said, visibly frustrated by the lawyer's words.

Justice Khawaja also commented on the exchange and pointed out that although the constitution is in English, it is not difficult to comprehend and all institutions of the country are bound to follow Article 190 of the constitution.

Article 190 emphasises that all executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan should act in aid of the Supreme Court.

Missing persons

A court order was issued at the hearing that stated the missing persons should be presented before DIG Crime Investigation Department.

The Supreme Court ordered the interior secretary to appoint the interim IG FC within 3 days.

IG police Balochistan , Chief Secretary Balochistan, and Home Secretary were also ordered to present a report on the progress of investigation.

The court also decided that the investigation regarding the contempt of court against IG FC should be done separately on a convenient time.

The Balochistan missing persons case was adjourned till December 19.

Former IG FC Obaidullah Khattak had previously assured the court that all missing persons will be presented before the court.

People who have signed the assurance regarding presenting the missing persons should be present at the court from now onwards for the hearings, the Supreme Court further ordered. The court also stated that they should explain why the implementation was not done and if the court is not satisfied with their explanation then strict investigation would be done against them.

“I am fulfilling the interim role of IG FC. We are trying to recover the missing persons,” said DIG FC Khalid Saleem during the hearing as the chief justice had asked the attorney general about who the commandant of the FC was.

Balochistan law and order

The Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General Major General Mohammed Ijaz Shahid had been issued a contempt of court notice by the apex court as he did not attend the hearing on December 5 even after being summoned several times. Irfan Qadir had earlier said that, FC IG Shahid could not attend the hearing as he was admitted to hospital on November 29 because of a heart problem and Qadir had also submitted the medical certificate to the court. Supreme Court had also ordered that a copy of the order regarding contempt notice to IG FC be sent to the defence minister.

The apex court, regarding the contempt of court case, had taken strong exception to the absence of IG FC. The court had said that another grade officer holding command of the FC as per set rules could have appeared. However, the court had noted in its order that no satisfactory answer was received from the defence authorities and the court had ordered the secretary of the interior to clarify whether a notification for acting IG was issued or not.

“We have nothing to do with an individual; we issue a contempt notice to the IG, FC, for not cooperating in the investigation of missing persons in Balochistan,” the court had maintained.

The court had also said that FC officials did not record statements as they were blamed in the enforced disappearances case. The bench had also taken exception to the fact that no one from the government had approached the relatives of missing persons camped outside Karachi Press Club for the recovery of their dear ones.

COMMENTS (6)

unbelievable | 8 years ago | Reply

CJ's parting shot - once again a blank.

Last Word | 8 years ago | Reply

The defence lawyer should be charged with contempt of court and his licence canceled for life. The high-handedness of the defence establishment in openly defying an Apex court in a democratic country repeatedly is un-precedented. It no longer remains as an internal matter of Pakistan, but the whole world is keenly watching the tussle between an upright Pak judiciary and an unrepentant, but powerful establishment who is accused of unlawful abductions, unlawful custody and even indulging in custodial deaths. The civilian government should not support the establishment who is acting as a state within a state for many a decades defying civil authority and indulging in serious human rights violations. It has now become imperative for govt to take strict administrative action against the guilty as sufficient evidence has been produced with hundreds of people are protesting to get justice whose loved ones have been abducted. This mockery of the judicial system must end immediately if Pakistan do not want to be declared as a failed state.

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