New law an attempt to provide immunity to privileged class: Justice Khawaja
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday resumed the hearing of petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law, DawnNews reported.
A five-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani was hearing the petitions against the law.
During the hearing, the petitioners and their counsels were arguing against the law.
Petitioner Liaquat Qureshi argued that the new contempt law was against the Islamic fundamentals, adding that the parliament had passed the law without adequate consideration.
Upon which, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that consultations and discussions do take place before the passing of any law.
Furthermore, addressing the petitioner, Justice Khawaja said that one should not rely on media reports in the absence of a record of parliamentary proceedings.
The petitioner also said that the opposition had staged a walk out from the parliament when the law was tabled.
Moreover, Justice Khawaja remarked that with the new law, an attempt had been made to provide immunity to the privileged class.
In his remarks, Chief Justice Iftikhar said that the new contempt of court law had even render Article 204 ineffective.
He moreover said that amending laws in a rush was not a good tradition. Laws are made for the public’s well being and are not passed overnight.
Earlier outside the Supreme Court building, Attorney General Irfan Qadir said that the parliament had unlimited powers and that amendments passed by it could not be challenged.
Speaking to media representatives, the attorney general said that it was incorrect to say that the parliament could not reduce the powers bestowed upon the judiciary.
During Monday’s hearing, the court had observed that “the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court cannot be curtailed by the parliament by regulating the law”.
Moreover, the chief justice had observed that the Supreme Court always welcomed fair comments on judgments if made in a respectable manner while maintaining the dignity of the court as they became public property the moment they were delivered. “Public has a right to look into the judgments of the courts,” he said.