PESHAWAR: A non-functional judge of the Peshawar High Court issued on Thursday show-cause notices to four judges of the Supreme Court asking them to appear before him and explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them.
Justice Jehanzeb Rahim who was made dysfunctional through an SC verdict on PCO judges, issued an order in his chamber directing Justice Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervez to appear for a preliminary hearing before him on Feb 21 and for explaining and justifying why a date should not be fixed for framing charges against them.
The order has triggered a controversy as an SC bench comprising the said four judges has fixed Feb 21 for framing charges against some judges of superior courts, including Justice Jehanzeb, in a contempt of court case charging them with taking oath under the PCO despite a restraining order issued by a seven-member bench of the Supreme Court on Nov 3, 2007.
Justice Jehanzeb also directed that a copy of this order should be sent to the President of Pakistan to initiate proceedings before the Supreme Judicial Council against the four judges.
Most of the points mentioned by the judge in the order had been raised before the larger bench, but the bench had overruled them and fixed a date to frame charges against the PCO judges, including former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.
Justice Jehanzeb observed that the four judges had themselves held that judges of high courts and Supreme Court were not immune from contempt of court.
He said that upon the proclamation of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, he ceased to be a judge of the high court and so did the judges of the Supreme Court. Therefore, no order applied to him or bound him not to take oath.
He asked the President of Pakistan to hold an inquiry to find out which of the seven judges, who had signed the order of Nov 3, 2007, were actually in Karachi and who were in Islamabad.—Waseem Ahmad Shah