Lahore (Staff Report/Agencies): Punjab Chief Minister (CM) on Thursday appeared before the Lahore High Court (LHC) after a full summoned Usman Buzdar, provincial law minister, chief secretary and the law secretary.
The bench resumed hearing in case, pertaining to a notice issued to Advocate General of Punjab Ahmad Awais for contempt of court over his conduct during an announcement of an interim order on the joint investigation team formed to hold a fresh probe into the 2014 Model Town incident.
During the hearing, Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan remarked that the Advocate General of Punjab is a highly respectable post but an unfortunate incident had taken place.
CM Buzdar told the bench that Ahmad Awais had resigned as Advocate General of Punjab. "We committed many mistakes," the chief minister acknowledged, adding that his father had recently passed away.
The hearing was adjourned till April 19.
Earlier the day, Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan had remarked that one of the biggest law officers in the province was standing like a suspect.
‘He should be speaking about the supremacy of law,’ the judge observed.
Moreover, referring to the conduct of Ahmed Awais, Justice Aalia Neelum pointed out that there was a difference between freedom of expression and speaking loudly.
Ahmed Awais and the Lahore High Court bench exchanged bitter remarks during the case hearing on March 22, wherein the court had suspended the notification regarding the formation of a new JIT on model Town incident.
Awais, who had not been present in the courtroom at the time the judgment was reserved, expressed annoyance that he had not been notified prior to the hearing and the Punjab government’s stance was not heard before the verdict was announced.
“In the history of the high court, this is the first time a decision was announced without hearing the government first,” he said and announced that he was boycotting the decision.
“I do not have confidence in this bench,” said the noted lawyer who was present at the time of the announcement of the verdict.
The judges objected to being addressed in a raised voice by the lawyer.
“You cannot pressurize us by raising your voice,” declared Justice Malik.
Upon this, the advocate general responded: I am speaking in a loud voice so the bench may hear me.
“We held the hearing on time and the law officer was present in the courtroom,” Justice Qasim remarked and advised Awais to challenge the verdict if he has objections.