Babar withdraws his counsel, requests SC to stop his media trial
ISLAMABAD: Former law minister Senator Babar Awan on Wednesday withdrew his counsel from presenting his case in a contempt of court issue and requested the Supreme Court to stop his media trial.
Appearing before the two-member bench of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Athar Saeed, Babar Awan strongly objected to the proceedings in the instant case and said that his counsel Barrister Syed Ali Zafar was not allowed to argue his case for the last ten minutes.
He said that he did not know under which law, criminal or civil, he was being tried.
“It is-one sided proceedings. I withdraw power of attorney right now. It’s my media trial. Do not do it, I’m a parliamentarian, I have children and family,” Babar Awan contended.
He declared that he would have no counsel or Advocate on Record and would contest the charges himself whatever might be the consequences.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan told him that there was a set procedure through which his counsel could argue his case. Still they had not restrained him from contesting his case in person.
Awan questioned what was the reason for bench’s anger? “If there were any words on my part which might have offended them, I will withdraw them. Why my conduct is being discussed here, if so then, my case be referred to the Pakistan Bar Council.”
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan reiterated that they had not denied him the right of audience. “We are sitting here with open mind,” he added.
Awan said till this day, he was not aware about the procedure adopted by the court.
“Judgments you write here are made part of history. So why such decisions have been taken which are not referred to afterwards,” he added.
Raising his objection, he said that in criminal cases, the prosecutor had to lay down charges against an accused and the bench had to go with these, but in his case, from the very onset, the prosecutor had not uttered even a single word against him.
“If the law, procedure and constitution are not followed, I will object,” he added.
Citing Article 10A, he said that he wanted due process and till not convicted, he would be the favourite child of the law.
He requested the court to summon record and persons in his case, enabling him for the presentation of his defence.
To a bench’s query, he replied that in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case, the bench had sought judicial record.
Reading out a judgment regarding reply of former president Supreme Court Bar Association Muneer A. Malik, he said that the PCO judiciary had considered his submission and dropped contempt proceedings against him.
He said the respondent had admitted that he did not intend to ‘burn the Supreme Court.’
He said that he had already tendered his unconditional apology and the Chief Executive twice had submitted before the court that the stance he had taken during the press conference was not his individual act.
The bench upon his civil miscellaneous application seeking acquittal from the charges, issued notice to the Attorney General for arguments on July 2 whereas it reserved decision on another application regarding summoning of record.
The bench is hearing a suo motu notice taken on Babar Awan’s address at a press conference held in the Press Information Department on December 1, after initial order of the larger bench on memogate issue.
The same bench had also indicted Awan in contempt under relevant provisions.
During previous proceedings, Awan requested the bench to consider his unconditional apology he had tendered with it and drop further proceedings.