News Memogate: Replies sought on maintainability of petitions

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Mar 5, 2010
ISLAMABAD: A nine-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of infamous Memogate scandal case today.

The court has sought the prime minister's reply over action against the federal ministers who criticised the December 01st SC orders.

The bench also asked the parties to submit replies within three days whether the petitions are admissible or not after the COAS, DG ISI and Mansoor Ijaz argued in favour of their maintainability.

During the hearing, CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry slammed the ministers' press conference after December 01 hearing of the case. He questioned whether it was government's action or ministers' individual act, and if it was individual act then what action was taken against the ministers who addressed/attended the conference.

It is pertinent to mention that Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Syed Khurshid Shah, Senator Babar Awan and Qamar Zaman Kaira addressed a joint press conference held at the Press Information Department (PID).

CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry reprimanded the Attorney General and asked him to present federation's stance over the ministers' conference.

He said that court's orders were ridiculed in the press conference while the PID was used to ridicule courts. The prime minister should have taken notice of the act.

The Chief Justice said even Asma Jehangir did not filed contempt of court petition over the matter. On which, Husain Haqqani's counsel Asma Jehangir told the court that she has not seen that press conference and that the court has the right to take action against such contempt.

Two petitioners of the memo case, Barrister Zafarullah and Advocate Tariq Asad gave arguments in favor of petitions and said the case can be heard on the basis of public importance.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry told the Attorney General that COAS Ashfaq Kayani gave important points in his reply. There was no reply from the president nor he defended the allegations against him, which means acceptance of the changes in civil cases.

The court also sought notifications of Husain Haqqani's resignation and acceptance along with the formation of Abbottabad commission.