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Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notices to Vawda, Kamal Over Judiciary Criticism

The Supreme Court (SC) has issued contempt of court notices to Senator Faisal Vawda and Syed Mustafa Kamal following press conferences where they questioned the judiciary.

The case is being heard by a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, alongside Justices Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Irfan Saadat Khan. The apex court took suo motu notice of Vawda’s explosive press conference where he criticized the judiciary and demanded Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Babar Sattar to provide evidence supporting allegations of spy agencies meddling in the judiciary. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Aamir Rehman is the advocate on record.

During the hearing, CJP Isa asked the AAG if he had heard Vawda’s presser, to which the AAG responded affirmatively, stating he heard parts of it. The court then deliberated whether the content of Vawda’s presser constituted contempt, noting that opinions can be given if a case is pending in court but remarked that much more derogatory statements were made.

Justice Isa also voiced concerns about the declining respect for institutions. Vawda, in his press conference, urged Justice Sattar to substantiate his claims about agencies’ interference with solid evidence, referring to the lack of proof casting doubt on the judges’ allegations. Justice Sattar was among six IHC judges who accused intelligence agencies of coercive tactics in March, with reports of a security official allegedly pressuring him to halt scrutiny into surveillance procedures.

Vawda emphasized the necessity of presenting evidence of judiciary interference, asserting that the court doesn’t proceed without proof. He denounced attempts to tarnish Pakistan’s reputation and criticized targeting institutions.

Interestingly, the IHC registrar responded to Vawda’s queries, stating that a potential judge’s residency or citizenship other than Pakistan is not a disqualification under the constitution. This led Vawda to question why the renunciation of dual nationality only applies to politicians, referencing his own disqualification for having dual nationality during the 2018 elections.

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