ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday, suspending practicing licence of former Attorney General Irfan Qadir, issued him a show-cause notice to explain why his licence should not be cancelled.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, was hearing the case of purchasing worth Rs 1.23 billion APCs from a Serbian company for Sindh police to fight terrorism in Karachi.

The court also sought from the Sindh IGP details pertaining to payment of fees to Irfan Qadir with further direction to explain who paid the fees to Irfan Qadir. Earlier, the IGP told the court that Rs 2 million out of total Rs 3 million had been paid.

During the proceedings, Irfan Qadir, instead of explaining his position to represent the Sindh police, got annoyed and said he did not trust this court and Justice Jawwad. The former attorney general Wednesday filed an application in which he demanded withdrawal of Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry from the bench hearing the APCs deal for the Sindh police.

Irfan Qadir said: “I respect you (Justice Jawwad), but I don’t know why you are being so harsh to me.” Justice Jawwad said: “I know how much respect you have for me.”  The ex-AGP said the Sindh chief minister had approved the purchase of APCs for Sindh police, adding both the chief minister and the IGP were not answerable to the court. He further said the court had pressurised Farooq H Naek for favorable statement. The court did not raise any objection over the caveat of Farooq H Naek, but only he was targeted, said Qadir.

When the court ordered suspension of Irfan Qadir’s licence, Aitzaz Ahsan who was present in the courtroom regarding his case stood up and said without hearing Irfan Qadir, his licence should not be suspended as it would be too harsh. The court asked Aitzaz he should appear before the court as the lawyer of Irfan Qadir if he was so much concerned about him.

The court adjourned the case till 2nd week of April. On the last hearing, the court had directed Irfan Qadir to ensure his appearance before the court and explain his position for representing the Sindh Police without ‘wakalatnama’. The court observed how Irfan Qadir was representing the IGP Sindh while the Sindh government is already being represented by Farooq H Naek. The court had further observed that no wakalatnama authorising Irfan Qadir to appear in this case was filed. The court had shown concern how and on what basis Irfan Qadir had been appearing in this case in the last 11 hearings.

The court had asked the Sindh additional advocate general to inquire which department paid fees to Irfan Qadir.

Meanwhile, the same bench issued another notice to Irfan Qadir in a contempt case against him. Two years ago in Arsalan Iftikhar vs Malik Riaz case, the court had issued a contempt notice to Irfan Qadir who was the attorney general at that time for concealing the fact that he had represented Malik Riaz as his counsel in the high courts.