ISLAMABAD - Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Work Place has urged the Supreme Court to take up suo moto along with her petition against the LHC judge.

Federal Ombudsperson Justice (retd) Yasmeen Abbasi on Tuesday appeared in person before a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim that heard the suo moto notice.

The court ordered that status quo regarding proceedings in the high court against Justice Yasim be maintained and the Ombudsperson order against the LHC judge will remain suspended.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali on May 11 had taken suo moto on issuance of arrest warrants by the federal ombudsperson to the Lahore High Court senior puisne judge a day after she tendered apology in the chamber of single judge high court.

Justice (retd) Abbasi pleaded that before further proceeding on suo moto hear her petition along with it. She asked the court to grant sometime to engage a counsel.

The ombudsperson informed the bench that she had submitted a petition against the LHC judge as he was illegally interfering with her order. She argued that the high court in terms of section 18 of the Federal Ombudsman Reforms Act 2013 has no jurisdiction to entertain a petition against an order passed by the Ombudsman.

She contended that under Article 5 of the Constitution everyone is bound to follow the law, adding the section 18 of the Act exclude the jurisdiction of high courts and the Supreme Court as the appeal against the Ombudsman lies only before the President of Pakistan.

Pakistan Bar Council, former vice-chairman Azam Nazeer Tarar, and many lawyers from Lahore wanted to implead parties saying the ombudsperson had unnecessarily dragged them in this case. However, Justice Hani said that they would hear them but will not accept them as party. He said the matter will be decided in accordance with the law.

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf appeared on the court notice. Justice Dost Muhammad in a lighter vein, remarked would the AGP file reply in the defence. Justice (retd) Yasmin told that she had not tendered apology as it appeared in the single judge order and the suo moto. She said the situation was made such that she had to sign on apology.

She said: “I firmly hold the view as Ombudsperson that the orders of the learned single judge of LHC were illegal and void besides being contemptuous and also against the code of conduct to be followed by judges.”

In her statement distributed to mediapersons, she said: “The Chief Justice of Pakistan also appears to have acted in haste and seems to be predisposed in favour of the single judge (LHC) in the given circumstances.”

Justice Yasmeen stated that she has the highest regard for Supreme Court and, therefore, would bring true facts and correct legal position. The bench directing the SC office to fix suo moto along with her petition adjourned the hearing till second week of June.