ISLAMABAD: Despite the issuance of contempt notices to pliable politicians who had criticised the judiciary for its supposed failings, a couple of lawmakers used their privilege as parliamentarians to assail the conduct of judges on Tuesday, with Senator Faisal Vawda moving a motion against a sitting Supreme Court judge.

During a hearing last week, Justice Athar Minallah of the Supreme Court had taken exception to Mr Vawda’s remarks against the judiciary, regretting that judges were being threatened through “proxies”.

In response, the independently elected senator, who is under contempt notice from the SC, said the judge’s remarks “damaged not only his integrity but that of the house too”.

“I am moving a privilege motion seeking action against Judge Athar Minallah. It is up to the house or the chair or the committee to take action against him,” he said, during the session chaired by PPP’s Sherry Rehman.

Mr Vawda claimed the judge called him a proxy without any evidence, adding that the term was used out of prejudice and bias against him.

Referring to his news conference, Mr Vawda said he stood by every word he said at the presser. He also demanded the judge to produce evidence for his remarks.

Mr Vawda claimed that when anyone else commits any wrongdoing or says something, they are summoned by courts. But when a judge is accused of misconduct, “it is called a mistake and no action is taken”.

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui picked up where Mr Vawda left off, saying that the superior judiciary had a history of “garlanding violators of the Constitution”, Mr Siddiqui said, adding the judiciary invoked the doctrine of necessity and always “squashed democracy, politicians and political values”.

“Who gave them the privilege of labelling someone as Sicilian mafia, Godfather or proxy?” he asked, rhetorically.

Mr Siddiqui said articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution were for lawmakers and asked how many judges it had been applied to.

Dual nationality of judges

In a related development, a bill to ban the appointment of dual national judges in superior courts has been submitted with the National Assembly secretariat, a source told Dawn.

The bill, proposing to amend articles 177, 193 and 208 of the Constitution, has been submitted by JUI-F MNA Noor Alam Khan.

‘No change in solar net metering’

During the session on Tuesday, Federal Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said the government was not changing the policy regarding solar net metering.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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