By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday formally charged Malik Riaz, a real estate tycoon, with contempt of
court for his media gibe against the judiciary in his press
conference of June 12 soon after an initial order by the court in
Dr Arsalan Iftikhar's case.
The two-member bench of Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Athar
Saeed resumed hearing of the contempt case and tasked Attorney
General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir to appear as prosecutor in the
During the course of proceedings, Malik Riaz to a bench's query
denied that he had ridiculed judiciary in his press conference.
Dr Abdul Basit, counsel for Malik Riaz, said that his client
had already moved an intra-court appeal under annulled Contempt of
Court Act 2012, therefore, the proceedings should be halted till a
decision on his pending appeal.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan told him that the contempt act was no
longer in the field as it was struck down and the instant
proceedings were being conducted under the Contempt of Court
He told him to regard the annulled act as non existent.
Dr Basit contended that his client had moved the intra court
appeal when the Contempt of Court Act 2012 was in place, under which
the further proceedings were halted.
He said that charges against his client were not clear and he
did not understand the reasons for his indictment.
He said the charges did not contain the words that his client
had uttered any contemptuous words against the judiciary.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir also objected to the use of words in
The bench observed that they had all the relevant record which
explained the contempt committed by Malik Riaz.
Further hearing was adjourned till August 29.
Previously, a three-memebr bench comprising Justice Mian
Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim
had issued notice on a note put forward by Registrar of the Supreme
Court and a separate plea moved by Chaudhry Ashraf Gujjar advocate,
former president of Islamabad High Court.
The bench in its order had noted that prima facie, after going
through the contents of the press conference, Malik Riaz attempted
at ridiculing the court and the judges of this court.
The bench said Malik had showed disrespect for the judiciary
and caused obstruction in the administration of justice.
The bench issued notices under Article 204 of the Constitution,
read with Section 3 of Contempt of Court Act 2003 and the Supreme Court Rules.
Malik Riaz had also tendered unconditional apology before the
bench and also moved an intra court appeal under the annulled