CJP dismisses arrest warrants for serving LHC judge issued by federal ombudsperson


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Wednesday took suo moto notice of the issuance of an arrest warrant for a serving judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC), Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.

The bailable arrest warrant was issued by Federal Ombudsman for Protection of Women Yasmeen Abbasi on Tuesday.

According to details, CJP Jamali has dismissed the arrest warrant and issued a notice to Abbasi and the Attorney General for Pakistan to appear before him on May 17.

On Tuesday, Yasmin Abbasi had issued a warrant for the arrest of the senior LHC judge one day after she tendered an unconditional apology to him for her ‘contemptuous’ conduct.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had discharged contempt of court proceedings against Abbasi after she appeared in the judge’s chamber along with Attorney General of Pakistan and Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, on Monday and tendered an unconditional apology.

“The respondent has thrown herself at the mercy of the court and submitted her unconditional apology,” Justice Shah stated in the Monday’s order and observed that no such unfortunate incident will be repeated again and respondent (ombudsperson) will act in accordance with law and render highest respect to the constitutional courts at all times.

The order also clarifies that under the constitutional scheme, all sub-constitutional courts/tribunals are subordinate to the constitutional courts.

“It is also pointed out that power of contempt enjoyed by the federal Ombudsman under the Act is a sub-constitutional power and cannot be exercised against the constitutional courts,” the order adds.

The order also reproduces written apology of the ombudsperson as “The notice for contempt issued under my signature stands withdrawn. Having being judge of the High Court myself I hold the court in highest esteem and cannot think of committing contempt of court. Any impression of my having committed contempt is a matter of personal anguish and distress.”

However, the ombudsperson on Tuesday held proceedings on show-cause notice issued to Justice Shah requiring his appearance on May 10.

The ombudsperson said in her order that the high court judge acted in utter violation of Supreme Court’s order that enjoined the avoidance of unpleasant situation.

“Resultantly the contempt notice issued on May 10, 2016 to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah for his appearance needs compliance as per law,” she said.

“Let the bailable warrant of arrest be issued against Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, judge of Lahore High Court, for his appearance before office of Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace on May 13, 2016 with a direction to the Inspector General of Police, Punjab, to ensure Syed Mansoor Ali Shah’s appearance before the Office of Ombudsman,” the order states.

In her order, the ombudsperson also said that during the in-camera proceedings before the LHC judge, the dignity of the office of the federal ombudsman was greatly compromised and her institution was undermined in an unprecedented manner hitherto unknown to the judicial history of the country.

Abbasi states that she did not tender any unconditional apology to the judge but she was made to sign a statement prepared by the attorney general under an atmosphere of extreme duress.

Justice Shah had initiated contempt proceedings against the ombudsperson with issuance of her arrest warrant after she refused to appear before the court.

The ombudsperson not only ignored the high court’s orders but also resorted to exercising her powers beyond the Constitution as she issued contempt notice to the judge accusing him of committing contempt of the office of the federal ombudsperson.

The dispute stood resolved till Monday after the ombudsperson made her appearance before the judge in the presence of several senior lawyers and tendered her unconditional apology. Exercising judicial restraint, Justice Shah had accepted her apology and discharged the contempt proceedings and arrest warrant issued against her.



  1. Adalaton aur Judge sahban ka gharelu masla hai. But her unconditional-apology should have been enough. Let us see what the Hon CJ Pakistan has to say next. By the way, any progress of the letter sent by the Government to the SC about forming commission to prob Panama Leaks ?

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