Media accountability case: Court warns Attorney General against interrupting proceedings -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Media accountability case: Court warns Attorney General against interrupting proceedings

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court warned Attorney General Irfan Qadir on Thursday against interrupting court proceedings and said such conduct was not conducive to the administration of justice.

The warning came during the hearing of a set of petitions regarding media accountability initiated at the behest of some television anchors. A two-judge bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain had taken up the case.

During the proceedings, the attorney general disputed a figure from the information ministry’s supplementary grants for 2011-12, insisting that it was Rs400 million and not Rs4 billion. But the court said the figure was correct.

While Absar Alam, one of the petitioners, was addressing the court, the attorney general interrupted the process with contentious argument on the figures, Justice Khawaja dictated in an order.

“We are surprised at the interjection when the figures provided by the petitioner were absolutely in order,” the court order said. It said the court had to repeatedly inform the AG that this was not the way cases were argued.

“This is not conducive to the administration of justice,” Justice Khawaja observed. “We are constrained to warn the AG not to interrupt during the arguments advanced by the other side.” Justice Khawaja observed that in accordance with the centuries-old practice the AG should address the court on his turn.

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