ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday gave orders for an open court hearing of a petition against the issuance of production orders for detained members of the National and provincial assemblies by the speakers of these assemblies.

Justice Azmat Saeed heard the petition in his chamber, challenging the issuance of production orders.

During the course of hearing, Aftab Bajwa, counsel for the petitioner, said the issuance of a production order for a detained assembly member was interference in the court affairs as that member is already on a judicial remand.

He further said the production orders were an obstacle in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigation into the corruption case, member of the assembly is allegedly involved in.

After having heard the arguments, Justice Saeed ordered for an open court hearing.

4-week time for framing law on underground water use

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday granted four week time to the Federal and provincial governments to draft legislation in a case regarding underground water use.

The court also directed the Managing Director (MD) Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Lahore to submit suggestions regarding water conservation.

A three-member Bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the underground water implementation case.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the apex court order also included commercial use of water.

He said that the first thing to do was legislation and remaining matters could be examined later.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked about progress over legislation.

Upon this the counsel for Balochistan government said that the provincial government had prepared a draft and send it to the Federal government and the Punjab government.  The counsel for the Sindh government said that the provincial government had prepared its draft for underground water legislation.  Later, hearing of the case was adjourned for four weeks.

life sentence

convict acquitted

The Supreme Court on Monday acquitted life sentence convict Shafqat Hussain after 15 years giving him benefit of doubt.

The trial court awarded capital punishment to Shafqat Hussain over murder of Jamil Haider in district Jhang in 2004. The Lahore High Court converted the death sentence into life imprisonment. Later, the accused challenged LHC order in the Supreme Court.

A three-member Bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa heard the case through video link from SC Lahore Registry.

During the course of proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked that the prosecution failed to prove the case as it could not justify the presence of witnesses at the incident place.

He remarked that indeed murder is a big crime but murder of justice is an even bigger crime.

The court after hearing arguments ordered to release the accused giving him benefit of doubt.