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Only the mafia threatens judges’ families: CJP seeks report of AGP

COAS

ISLAMABAD: The government and the judiciary seemed to be on a collision course on Thursday after a Supreme Court judge likened the ruling party to the Sicilian mafia, prompting the government to accuse the judge of violating his oath of office and bringing a bad name to the country.

Meanwhile the CJP has asked the Attorney General to explain about letter/clarification issued b the govt of a plain paper in which the government had termed the Court observation against Judicial norms.

A visibly perturbed Supreme Court bench on Thursday took strong exception to an outburst from a ruling party loyalist, equating it with threats that the Sicilian mafia used to issue to the judges and their families in Italy.

“Do you know who used to threaten the children of judges? The Sicilian mafia,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed.

Pointing towards Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf, he went on to say, sarcastically: “Congra­tula­tions! Your government has also joined these ranks.”

In harsh govt reaction, unnamed spokesperson calls remarks against oath and code of conduct of judges

All the AG could say in response was: “No, this is not correct.”

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan was hearing the contempt case, initiated suo motu, against sacked Senator Nehal Hashmi for his remarks where he appeared to threaten the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) and the judiciary for investigating Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family on allegations stemming from the Panama Papers case.

The mention of the Sicilian mafia in Thursday’s proceedings was reminiscent of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa’s minority judgement in the Panama Papers case, who quoted Mario Puzo’s popular 1969 novel The Godfather in the opening lines of his verdict.

But in an uncharacteristically strongly-worded reply, an unnamed government spokesperson regretted that an honourable judge had declared the government a “Sicilian mafia” and accused the AG of being its representative — an act that had damaged the prestige of the country before the international community.

“Such a baseless remark is against the oath and code of conduct of the judges,” the spokesperson’s statement, which was also aired by the state-run PTV, said.

Expressing “deep concern and regret” over the judge’s remarks, the spokesperson maintained that the court had not only ignored the disciplinary action taken against Mr Hashmi by the prime minister, but had instead levelled baseless allegations against the government.

The government had not only distanced itself from Mr Hashmi’s uncalled-for remarks, it took a very harsh view of his outburst, as was evident from the print and electronic media reports, the spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, the prime minister was chairing an important meeting related to national security, which ended in the afternoon, the spokesperson said. As soon as the matter was brought to his notice, he immediately issued Mr Hashmi a show-cause notice and suspended his basic membership of the party.

Mr Hashmi was also summoned to the Prime Minister’s House and, when he failed to give a satisfactory reply, was directed to resign from the Senate.






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