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Striking down new contempt law won't cause chaos: SC

31 July, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked there would be no chaos in the country if the new contempt of court law was struck down. He said in the case of jirga system in Balochistan, people had said if it were struck down it would lead to chaos, but no such thing happened and after two or three months everything was normal.

The CJP said this during proceedings in the case against the Contempt of Court Act 2012. He said the entire debate was read out in the courtroom and it was noticed that good speeches were delivered from both sides and at the end the opposition walked out.

After a war of words between the judiciary and parliament during last week, the Supreme Court on Monday said members of parliament had played an active role during the proceedings of the case.

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani remarked that senators Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan and Haji Adeel made the best speeches during the proceedings. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said though Haji Adeel's comments were critical of the judiciary, it was the right of the parliamentarians.

The chief justice said no one should take it personally and must show decency, adding, special treatment to anyone would make the system ineffective. He said the orders of the Supreme Court to a magistrate are binding on all.

Latif Afridi, counsel for Pakistan Bar Council, pleaded that the apex court was playing the role of a doctor, and in order to treat patients it should prescribe medicines and not becomes cancerous to the body. He said the impression regarding the confrontation between judiciary and parliament should be eliminated.

As the counsel called the situation a cold war between the Supreme Court and parliament, Justice Khawaja said it was actually a "hot war". The CJP said, "I would say this is a healthy sign because people are taking interest in parliament and court proceedings. It helps in strengthening democratic order. In America and Europe, people discuss assemblies and court proceedings and thus consensus is developed, and through media comes good feedback."

PBC former vice president said Contempt of Court Act 2012 was not in conformity with Article 204 of the constitution and its sections 3,6,9,12,and 13 are inconsistent with the fundamental rights. He said instead of taking out these articles through an ordinance, it should be repealed and a new law be framed that is in conformity with Article 204.

Federation counsel Abdul Shakoor Paracha would plead the case today (Tuesday). The federation has so far not filed any reply on the petitions. Paracha informed the court the federation had not instructed him in this regard.


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