ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday imposed Rs20,000 fine on Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf for his failure to appear before the court to argue the matter relating to the interpretation of Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney-General Waqar Rana submitted before the court that AGP Ausaf was in Lahore to attend funerals of former president of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir and requested the court to defer the hearing till Wednesday.

However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the AGP to pay Rs20,000 fine from his pocket, which will be deposited in the account of Fatmid Foundation.

The apex court expressed its annoyance at Ausaf’s failure to appear before the court in a case to determine whether disqualification of lawmakers under Article 62(1)(f) was for life or time specific.

Justice Nisar inquired about the commitments that had kept the AGP from appearing before the court.

At this, the additional attorney general informed the court that the AGP was in Lahore to attend the funerals of human rights activist Asma Jahangir, who passed away on Sunday.

The CJP remarked, “We are also saddened by the demise of Asma Jahangir but the pressing issue must not be ignored.”

Justice Nisar observed that the top court had issued the AGP a notice to appear.  “Should we adjourn the hearing until tomorrow?” he asked. However, the AAG replied that the AGP was scheduled to go abroad for a tour.

“Therefore, I would suggest not to give tomorrow’s date for the hearing,” he said. Expressing annoyance, Justice Nisar asked how the AGP could leave the country during the hearing of an important case.

 “What sort of attitude is this?” he remarked. Later, the court ordered to impose the fine and adjourned the hearing till February 14.