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Pakistan PM’s contempt case adjourned till March 7

Pakistan's Supreme Court today summoned Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi as a witness in contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and adjourned the high-profile case till March 7.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2012 23:37 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Supreme Court,Nargis Sethi,news

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani won some reprieve from Pakistan's supreme court after his lawyer asked time to cross examine some witnesses. The case has now been adjourned till March 7.

An application was filed by the PM's counsel, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, on Monday asking the court to bring in three witnesses. These are the secretaries for the cabinet and defense, the secretary for law and the former law minister Babar Awan. Ahsan also asked to be allowed to present two summaries in the court.

The summaries were sent by secretary and minister of law and justice to the prime minister's office advising him "not to write the letter to prosecutors in Switzerland". During the hearing, Aitzaz Ahsan told the SC that Gilani’s reply in the contempt case will not be submitted unless witnesses' statements are recorded.

Justice Nasirul Mulk, heading the seven-member bench, remarked that Aitzaz neither submitted a reply nor did he submit any evidences, and has rather submitted an application. Aitzaz, in reply, said the witnesses, which he has asked to be summoned in the court, will inform the bench that Gilani was not given any advice other than the two summaries, which he wanted to present.

Aitzaz told the court that "Prosecutor (Attorney General) in the case did not summon any witness. Thus, I have been deprived of the right to cross examine the witnesses."

Report sought on Sarabjit Singh
A Pakistani court has sought a report from the interior ministry in response to a plea seeking the release of Indian national Sarabjit Singh currently on death row following his conviction for alleged bomb attacks in 1990.

The Lahore HC on Monday asked the interior ministry to file a reply by March 16 failing which the court would decide the matter on merit.

Sarabjit s counsel Awais Sheikh had submitted the petition seeking the inclusion of his client in a list of foreigners languishing in Pakistani jails despite having served their sentences.

Sheikh had asked the court to issue directions in this respect to the Foreign Secretary and the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat Jail where Sarabjit is being held. pti

First Published: Feb 28, 2012 15:48 IST