Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz waves as he leaves the Supreme Court on his contempt of court case in Islamabad. – File photo by AFP
Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz waves as he leaves the Supreme Court on his contempt of court case in Islamabad. – File photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court indicted property tycoon Malik Riaz with contempt of court chrages on Thursday, five days after the court struck down the recent Contempt of Court Act 2012, DawnNews reported.

A three-member bench of the court comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Athar Saeed resumed hearing the case against the former Bahria Town chief. Riaz denied the charges.

A show-cause notice was issued on June 13 to Riaz for hurling allegations at Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, scandalizing and ridiculing the judiciary in his press conference of June 12.

Riaz’s counsel, Advocate Dr Abdul Basit, said his client had filed an intra-court appeal and requested the proceedings to be halted until the appeal is heard.

Basit requested the court to halt the proceedings of the contempt case until a decision is made on the intra-court. Justice Afzal, however, responded by saying, “the contempt of court law that was formed has now been struck down and under the current laws, the proceedings can be resumed.”

Dr Basit, however, argued that Contempt of Court Act 2012 was in place the day the intra-court appeal was filed and soon after the filing of the appeal, the show-cause notice and contempt of court hearing was adjourned.

Justice Afzal then remarked that Contempt of Court Act 2012 should be treated as if it never existed.

The court appointed Attorney General Irfan Qadir as prosecutor in the case.

The hearing was adjourned until August 29.

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