Supreme Court to try judge for contempt
11 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has decided not to take up a petition against the judge of a Control of Narcotics Substance Special Court and will now only conduct contempt proceedings against him.
The Supreme Court Registrar office had earlier fixed a civil miscellaneous application against former Islamabad High Court judge Muhammad Azim Khan Afridi for allegedly defaming the superior courts' judges on social media, but the court Thursday disowned that application and decided to confine itself to the contempt matter.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, decided not to take up the application which, according to Muhammad Azim Afridi, was generated by the Supreme Court Human Rights Cell to malign him.
The entire material used in the application is based on the contents of a website which Muhammad Azim Afridi owns and is considered by many as contemptuous. Afridi is facing contempt case for summoning Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain for his alleged association with SAIFCO, a firm culpable for dealing in narcotics.
During the course of proceedings on Tuesday, the court was surprised when it was told that the Supreme Court registrar office did not supply the copy of the preliminary reply of the respondent, Afridi, to Attorney General of Pakistan Muneer A Malik, who has also been summoned on the court's notice as prosecutor in this matter.
The court directed Afridi to provide the copy of his reply to the AGP himself, saying that it seemed that the Supreme Court office was being controlled by those officials who are against him. During the hearing, Afridi alleged that SC Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain was involved with drug masters, and being a judge he had issued a notice to him, but the SC registrar did not respond for two months, therefore, he was compelled to summon him.
Regarding his preliminary reply in the contempt case, Justice Asif Khosa observed that the special judge seemed to be very annoyed. While referring to para 35 and 38 of his reply, he observed that another independent contempt notice could be issued to him for using scandalous language against the superior judiciary. Justice Khosa said that his focus is on the Judicial Commission's decision, in which he was not confirmed as IHC judge. The bench also suggested the respondent engage a counsel in the contempt matter rather than arguing it himself because he looked furious.
On the other hand, Azim Afridi said that he was not getting emotional, but if what happened to him had happened to some other judge he would have committed suicide. He lamented that he has been applying in the IHC since December 2012 to get a certified copy of the judgement which was authored by him against Malik Riaz but the high court was not giving him the copy.
Afridi requested the bench to direct the IHC to give him the certified copy of the judgement against Malik Riaz because he wanted to use it in his defence in this case. "I am ready to face the consequences if I fail to prove my case," Afridi added. He requested the bench to give sufficient time for furnishing comprehensive reply in this matter. Meanwhile, Justice Khosa observed that the court was embarrassed and extremely reluctant to proceed against a judicial officer.
The court gave three weeks to Afridi to file a comprehensive reply in the contempt of court case against him. In his preliminary reply in the contempt case, Afridi had contended that the contempt proceedings against him had conveyed a very drastic and dangerous message to each and every judge of the district judiciary.