ISLAMABAD: During the hearing of a petition against the National Assembly speaker’s ruling on the issue of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s conviction by the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case, an altercation started in the courtroom on Thursday after some lawyers and Attorney General Irfan Qadir exchanged harsh words.
The argument started when the attorney general said that all the lawyers had “run away” from the court premises when the Supreme Court announced its verdict in the contempt case against the prime minister. He said this while the media was still there but no lawyer was seen there.
Heading a three-member bench, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry told Qadir not to undermine the reputation of the court by making such statements.Justice Jawad S Khwaja remarked that the attorney general should “not create noise” as he was a senior law officer. Lawyers started chanting slogans against the attorney general.
The police were called in the courtroom to control the situation. Police officials tried to calm down the infuriated lawyers and told them to take their seats.The petitions, including those filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), challenged the speaker’s ruling and demanded the disqualification of the prime minister after the apex court convicted him.
Advocate AK Dogar, while presenting his arguments, said that the Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, however, he is still holding his office. He said that Gilani deliberately insulted the court, and that the speaker’s ruling was against the verdict announced by a seven-member bench.
Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for Gilani, said he would like to submit the power of attorney on behalf of his client.Attorney General Irfan Qadir said he would respond after Dogar finished his arguments. However, the chief justice said that the entire nation was aware of the proceedings of cases pertaining to NRO and contempt of court regardless of AG’s responses.
The chief justice also said that the court does not want to prolong the judgment of the case, and that Dogar should highlight only the legal points involved in the case.Irfan Qadir criticised the chief justice and called him biased.
The situation worsened when the court tried to expedite the proceedings of the case. A group of lawyers chanted slogans against the attorney general as a result of which one lawyer was asked by the security personnel to leave the court premises.
The chief justice also intervened and criticised the behaviour of lawyers and asked them to remain calm. He also said that he has immense respect for Aitzaz Ahsan and Irfan Qadir.The hearing was adjourned till June 15 (today).