Without showing any flexibility, the larger bench of the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the intra court appeal against Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani in contempt of court case.
As per the intra court appeal order, the prime minister is required to appear before the court on February 13. The SC’s order included references of controversial NRO case history and government’s failure to implement court’s orders.
A nine-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry conducted hearing of the premier’s contempt of court case.
The counsel for the defense Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan prayed before the court to give him 10 days to complete his procedures.
On his request, the Supreme Court awarded him 10 minutes to consult the prime minister over the issue. He said that he could not explain the stance of the government within given time.
Arguing with the court, the counsel said that he respects the court and wants it to take back its show-cause notice. He also stated that the court depicted strict behavior by giving his client a show-cause notice.
He was of the opinion that the proceedings of contempt of court were half of civil nature and half of criminal nature. In his view, benefit of the doubt should be given to the prime minister in this case, which is currently not being given to him.
The lawyer also asked the court that the decision should not be limited to the seven judges on the bench, just because they were the Chief Justice’s ‘colleagues’
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during Thursday’s hearing had remarked that the appeal itself was in contempt of the court.
Raising a question, he asked Ahsan on how he could include paragraphs in his appeal which say that the contempt case could not be initiated against a prime minister who helped in restoring the judiciary.
The Supreme Court earlier this month ordered Gilani to appear on February 13 to face indictment for the government’s two-year refusal to ask Swiss authorities to re-open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.