SC says it will hold army generals in contempt

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ISLAMABAD: Army generals who violated the Supreme Court’s restraining order issued by a seven-judge bench on November 3, 2007, will be issued contempt notices, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said on Monday.
The bench was hearing contempt charges against superior courts’ judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in defiance of the Supreme Court orders. The bench on Monday dismissed objections of PCO judges on the bench’s composition, rejecting a plea for the constitution of a new bench to hear the case.
Dr Abdul Basit, lawyer for PCO judges Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hasnat Ahmed Khan, contended that if contempt proceedings against PCO judges continued, the pending intra-court appeals would stand infractuous. The court, however, rejected his plea for halting proceedings of the case on the basis of intra-court appeals.
Basit then said the PCO judges were issued contempt notices for violating the restraining order, however, the generals had been spared, which was against constitutional obligations. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said the court would take steps in this regard according to the constitution.
The lawyer had filed an intra-court appeal against the dismissal of his plea, with a request that the proceedings be halted until the allegations of bias raised against members of the bench were decided.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaj said, “They not only have to save the dignity and honour of the apex court but also have to enhance it,” adding that it was the duty of both bench and the bar.
He asked Nadeem Ahmed Sheikh, lawyer for Justice Hamid Ali Shah, to provide all documents he had mentioned in his application. The proceedings were later adjourned until today (Tuesday).
Dr Khalid Ranjha, lawyer for Justice (r) Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, said in the interest of justice and fair play, the judges against whom objections had been raised should recuse themselves from the bench, so that requirements of Article 10A of the constitution are met.
Justice (r) Abdul Hameed Dogar had objected to Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, saying they had taken oath from him, while Justice Jehanzaib Rahim had sought recusal of Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Tariq Parvez from the bench, expressing fears that he did not expect a fair trial in the presence of these judges.