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CJP bars 'habitual petitioner' from entering Supreme Court premises

Updated February 14, 2018

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Irked by yet another petition from Shahid Orakzai, the most persistent litigant in the capital city, Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday barred him from entering the Supreme Court (SC) premises, saying that the "era of false petitions is now over".

Also read: Frivolous litigation wastes courts’ precious time

Orakzai, a former journalist, had appeared in the SC today to contest an appeal filed by him against the appointment of former Lahore High Court chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah to the SC, but was unable to move Justice Nisar, who told him to get off the rostrum.

"You are a habitual petitioner who insults judges," the CJP declared. "We will not allow judges to be insulted."

Admonishing Orakzai for appearing in court with "false petitions", Justice Nisar remarked that he "brought in a new case every day."

Answering a query by Orakzai, Justice Nisar said he was banned from all SC registries. "In which country?" Orakzai inquired. "In Pakistan, and if you don't get off that rostrum now, I will take a more extreme measure," the CJP warned, visibly angry.

As chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Nisar has the authority to bar a person from entering court premises.

This is not the first time Orakzai, who has a reputation of filing ‘controversial’ petitions, has been in hot water. In 2014, the Islamabad High Court had fined him for "wasting the court's time".

In the same year, Peshawar High Court Justice Yahya Afridi had sentenced the former journalist to 24 hours in prison for scandalising the court after he accused then high court chief justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and former premier Nawaz Sharif of contempt of court.

The allegations were proven to be false, however. When Orakzai refused to withdraw the petition, the court had sentenced him to jail.

No adjournment for attorney general

Separately, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali told the SC that he had to visit London's Crown Court for an international arbitration case. However, the CJP stopped him from leaving citing a number of pending cases in the SC.

"You cannot abandon all the cases that are pending and leave for the UK," the CJP declared.

Ali said he would cancel his trip if the court wished him to do so.

"I'm telling you to stay in Pakistan," the CJP said. "You can't go anywhere."

Ali had represented the state's arguments in a case determining the disqualification period under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution, the decision of which was reserved by a five-member SC bench earlier today.

An earlier version of the story reported that the AGP was going to London on a vacation. However, the AGP office later clarified that he had to attend an international arbitration case in Crown Court.