The Supreme Court on Monday fine the attorney general (AG) Rs20,000 for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated orders, DawnNews reported.
The apex court had summoned the AG in connection with a case concerning Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, which sets the precondition for a member of parliament to be "sadiq and ameen" (honest and righteous). The rule had provided the grounds for the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from public office in the July 28, 2017 judgement on the Panama Papers case handed down by the apex court.
A five-member bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah — have since taken up 17 appeals against the disqualification of lawmakers.
The AG was supposed to present the state's arguments on the issue, but failed to appear.
Today, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar appeared before the court and sought permission to submit a written reply, but the chief justice expressed the court's displeasure on the continued absence of the AG, initially imposing a fine of Rs10,000 for not complying with court orders.
The fine, however, was waived after the AAG requested the court to do so.
Waqar had told the court that the AG was in Lahore in connection with the late Asma Jahangir's funeral. On being told this, the bench offered that the hearing be adjourned for a day, but Waqar asked the court not to do so, as the AG was expected to leave for abroad after the funeral.
This provoked the court, prompting the chief justice to ask: "How can the AG leave for abroad while leaving such an important case pending?"
Justice Nisar expressed serious displeasure with the AG's 'behaviour' with the court and directed him to appear before the Supreme Court by 4:00pm to present his arguments. However, the AG failed to comply, and was subsequently slapped with a Rs20,000 fine.
The case was adjourned till February 14.