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Malik Riaz contempt case: SC bars AG from acting as prosecutor

September 20, 2012

Attorney General Irfan Qadir. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday barred Attorney General Irfan Qadir from acting as prosecutor in the contempt of court case against property tycoon Malik Riaz of Bahria Town, DawnNews reported.

A two-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan which has been hearing the case against Riaz on charges of levelling harsh allegations against Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry at a press conference ruled that the attorney general could not act as prosecutor in the case.

Adjourning the case's hearing to Oct 9, the bench moreover summoned a list of senior lawyers from Supreme Court registrar Faqir Hussain.

Speaking to media representatives, Riaz's counsel Dr Abdul Basit expressed his reservations over the court's latest step.

Earlier on Monday, the bench had reserved its ruling on Qadir’s eligibility to prosecute Riaz on contempt charges. The question over the attorney general’s role was raised because he had represented the property magnate in the past.

The attorney general always acts as a prosecutor in contempt of court cases.

Riaz is facing contempt charges for levelling serious allegations against the chief justice at a press conference on June 12. He also raised three questions for the chief justice to answer.

On Monday, the Qadir contended that the judges had also appeared in the past but was told by the court that he was not supposed to defend the accused being a prosecutor in the case.

In an observation during Monday’s hearing, Justice Khan had observed that said the evidences submitted by the attorney general in the case appeared to be defending the accused.