Islamabad, Jan 17 (IANS): An attorney of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has been temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court, a media report said on Tuesday.
The legal licence of Babar Awan has been suspended following a contempt of court notice to him by the apex court, Geo News reported. It also asked Zardari to get a new lawyer.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former Prime Minister and Zardari's father-in-law, was hanged by then military General Zia-ul-Haq's government in 1979 for allegedly authorizing the murder of a political opponent. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led government believes it was a flawed judicial verdict and wants to reopen the case.
On Jan 5, the apex court had issued contempt of court notice to Babar Awan, former federal law minister, during a hearing on a possible review of the Bhutto verdict.
"How can things move forward without respect for the judiciary," Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked. "We are the issuing authority and have the powers to cancel (legal) licences as well," he said.
The court said: "Prima facie, we are of the view that the conduct of Babar Awan is unbecoming of an advocate of the Supreme Court.
"Therefore, we issue notice to him under Rule 30 of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules 1980 to explain why his name not be removed from the Roll of the Advocates of this court."