Islamabad, Jun 4 (PTI) In a setback to government's plans to prosecute the lawyers heading the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for allegedly making "derogatory" remarks against the military, the apex court today returned an official application filed in this connection, citing technical reasons.
The SCBA headed by lawyers of suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar M Chaudhry had organised a seminar in the premises of the apex court on May 26 during which the speakers allegedly made derogatory remarks against the country's Army, prompting a strong reaction from the military-backed government.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Nawaz Abbasi returned the complaint of the Interior Ministry referred to it by Acting Chief Justice Javed Iqbal, saying that it was incomplete and not filed in the form of a petition, nor it cited any provisions under which the SCBA lawyers should be prosecuted.
It also recommended that if and when the petition was re-filed by the government it should be heard by a full-bench.
The bench, which today heard the government's complaint, was reconstituted following decision by two judges not to be part of it.
It is now up to the government whether it wants to file the petition again or not.
The case pertains to a contempt application against SCBA President Munir A Malik, who is also a lawyer of Chaudhry, and an Interior Ministry letter to the Supreme Court Registrar seeking suo motto notice of the reported defamation of the judiciary and Army in the SCBA seminar.
The seminar titled 'Separation of Power and Independence of Judiciary' was also addressed by Chaudhry.
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