‘Contempt law intended to serve some bigwigs?’ asks CJ
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry Friday queried if the new contempt of court law is intended to serve some specific purpose.
The Supreme Court on Friday heard petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law.
A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani, heard 27 identical petitions challenging the Contempt of Court Act, 2012.
Pleading before the five-strong larger bench, petitioner Chaudhry Amjad Hussain’s counsel Chaudhry Afrasiab Advocate said the contempt matter is among no-go-areas of the Constitution, which cannot be infringed upon, as the independence of the judiciary comprises the basis of the constitution, adding Pakistani Constitution makes no mention of its basic structure; this exists in Bangladeshi Constitution.
Stressing that this is an acknowledged fact that judiciary stands freed, the Chief Justice Chaudhry asked Afrasiab to go ahead with his arguments on the independence of the judiciary.
Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja remarked the judges are trustees who have been tasked by 180 million people of Pakistan to implement the Constitution, adding the lawmakers agreed upon the Constitution under an ideology; these people who gave unanimous constitution were ideologues. The dictators, he added, defaced the Constitution frequently; however, the document still holds centrality thus far.
He remarked that members of parliament were servants of the public and that they drew their salaries from the taxes paid by the people of Pakistan.
He further said that the court had been bestowed with the responsibility of implementing the country’s constitution.
Justice Khawaja said the Constitution was formulated under an ideology and with consensus.
He moreover said that dictators in the part attempted to obliterate the essence of the Constitution but that the document was still just as significant and valid.