ISLAMABAD, July 18: A special bench of the Supreme Court, comprising 14 judges, will hear on Monday the appeal of the Registrar of the Sindh High Court, Mohammed Sadiq Leghari, who was convicted of contempt of court by a two- judge bench of the apex court on Thursday.
The law of contempt, as amended hurriedly by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif when he was being tried by the Supreme Court, provides that if someone is convicted by the Supreme Court under its original jurisdiction, he will have one right of appeal.
The law of contempt was amended apprehending that the Supreme Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, might convict prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The law also provided that mere filing of an appeal would mean automatic stay of the judgment and the whole court, except the members of the bench who passed the judgment, would hear the appeal.
The Supreme Court bench will consist of Chief Justice Shaikh Riaz Ahmed, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi Mohammed Farooq, Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Justice Mian Mohammed Ajmal, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Tanvir Ahmed Khan, Sardar Mohammed Raza Khan, Justice Khalilur Rahman Khan, Justice Mohammed Nawaz Abbasi and Justice Faqir Mohammed Khokhar.
A Supreme Court bench, comprising Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah and Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, had awarded simple imprisonment till rising of the court to the registrar for failing to comply with the apex court’s directions.
The Supreme Court had observed that the registrar, being a responsible judicial officer of the grade of district judge, had treated the order of the highest court of the country in a routine manner.
The two-member bench ordered that it was the bounden duty of the registrar to have cared and taken notice of the process issued to him for compliance with the order received by him.
“We hold the Registrar of the High Court of Sindh guilty of contempt of court as he has committed disobedience of the lawful order of this court, therefore he is punished and convicted under section 4 of the Contempt of Courts Act,” the judgment said.