ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the adjournment plea of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz pertaining to the absence of his counsel, the Supreme Court on Thursday remarked that it would not give any verdict without listening to Malik Riazís counsel.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Shakirullah Jan resumed the proceeding of contempt of court case against former head of Bahria Town Malik Riaz.
Advocate on record, Abdul Ghafoor pleaded the court that the court must consider the request of the respondent and adjourned the proceeding of the case as Malik Riaz’s counsel, Advocate Abdul Basit was suffering from cardiac arrest so he was not in a position to appear before the court.
The court said Dr Basit only had to listen to the petitioners’ arguments which could be done for him by the advocate-on-record or by an assisting counsel. The substituting advocate could take notes and provide them to Dr Basit, the court said.
Abdul Ghafoor said that the case is very important and sensitive in its nature and the respondent Malik Riaz had hired the lawyer after great struggle as no one in legal fraternity was willing to take up the case, adding that it is unfair to hear the case in the absence of main counsel of Malik Riaz.
Justice Jan said an order would only be issued after ample opportunity is provided to the parties involved.
Petitioner Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf Gujjar requested the court to sentence Riaz under the contempt of court laws.
Gujjar, a former president of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, had earlier requested the court to include Riaz’s name in the Exit Control List (ECL). However, Riaz’s name was not added to the ECL as he had been complying with the court’s orders.
During today’s hearing, Gujjar said Riaz was using delaying tactics in the case and that the real estate tycoon had ridiculed the chief justice and the institution of judiciary.
He submitted before the court that Malik Riaz attempted to scandalize the Apex judiciary through his press conference and ridiculed the dignity of the court as well as the Chief Justice.
He said that meeting between Malik Riaz and the CJ was held before the restoration of the judiciary, adding that if Malik Riaz was blackmailed then he must go to the government instead of presenting documents in the press conference.
Directing Advocate on Record Abdul Ghafoor that he should present himself as the defense counsel if Malik Riaz’s counsel does not appear in the next court hearing.
The petitioners concluded their arguments after which the court adjourned the hearing to July 12.