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Pak SC summons Nargis Sethi as witness during Mar 7 hearing in Gilani's contempt case

Islamabad , Tue, 28 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 28 (ANI): The Pakistan Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Gilani till March 07, summoning Nargis Sethi as witness in the case.


On Monday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's counsel Aitzaz Ahsan had submitted the reply in the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.


During today's proceedings, Ahsan said that the prime minister never intended to act in contempt of court, adding that he was bound to act on the law ministry's advice.


"The PM be granted a chance to provide a complete defense," Pak Tribune quoted Ahsan, as saying.


Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading a seven-member bench of the apex court, asked the counsel whether the prime minister sought independent legal advice.


During the last hearing, Attorney General Molvi Anwar-ul-Haq, who is the prosecutor in the case, submitted evidence to the court against the prime minister.


Yesterday, Ahsan submitted an application in the Supreme Court (SC), requesting the court to summon witnesses in a contempt of court case against Gilani. The petition requested the SC to summon former law minister Babar Awan, Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi and Law Secretary Muhammad Masood Chishti as witnesses in the case.


Aitzaz filed the application under Order 33, Rules 4-5 and 540 of the Criminal Procedure Code to summon documents and witnesses.


He said the court might summon the three witnesses "in the interest of justice and for a just decision in accordance with the due process of law", adding that the law secretary should also be directed to produce summaries, dated May 21, 2010, and September 21, 2010, along with the orders passed by the prime minister on the summaries.


The summaries were sent by secretary and minister of law and justice to the prime minister's office advising him "not to write the letter to prosecutors in Switzerland".


"Without the documents and witnesses, the accused/applicant would be deprived and denuded of his defence... The evidence will be cogent and necessary for the just decision of the case," Aitzaz said in the petition.


"In his private/personal capacity the applicant cannot and does not wish to exercise the official power and authority of the office of the prime minister to direct or require any official to appear as a witness even though he seeks the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses in his defence against the charge. With respect to private individuals, he has no power or authority to summon them," he added. (ANI)


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