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LHC issues fresh arrest warrants for ombudsperson

By Our Staff Reporter | 12/17/2015 12:00:00 AM


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court issued on Wednesday fresh bailable arrest warrants for
Yasmeen Abbasi, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at
Workplace, for not appearing before it in a contempt of court petition.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered the Islamabad SSP to ensure her appearancein the court
atthe next hearing. The judge also issued a show-cause notice of contempt to the ombudsperson
under Section 17 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003.
Deputy Attorney General Nasar Ahmad informed the judge that the registrar of the
ombudsperson office had said the high court could not summon her.
Justice Mansoor Shah expressed displeasure over the language of a letter issued by the
consultant/ registrar of the ombudsperson secretariat regarding the court`s direction.
He observed that the language of the letter was contumacious and contemptuous.
The judge also issued a show-cause notice to retired Lt Col Khamis Khan Panni, the
consultant/registrar of the ombudsperson secretariat.
The petitioner`s counsel informed the court that the ombudsperson had filed a reference to the
president against the incumbent judge (Justice Mansoor Shah) instead of complying with the
court order.
Pakistan Bar Council Vice-Chairman Azam Nazir Tarar and Lahore High Court Bar Association
President Pir Masood Chishti, who were present in court, condemned the act of the
ombudsperson and said the bar would not allow any government servant to humiliate the
judiciary.
They said the constitutional power of judicial review by the high court was not subjectto subconstitutional legislation and, therefore, non-appearance of the ombudsperson before the court
was unconstitutional.
The court adjourned hearing to Jan 14.
The contempt petition filed by Advocate Saleem Javed sought action against the ombudsperson
for violating a stay order issued by the high court.
The petitioner`s counsel said that a woman associate of his client had filed a harassment
complaint before the ombudsperson, but the high court had stayed the proceedings on it.
He informed the court that the ombudsperson had ignored the stay order and continued
proceedings on the complaint. The counsel sought action against the ombudsperson under the

contempt of court law because the respondent had ignored court`s notices and was avoiding her
appearance before it.to sub-constitutional legislation and, therefore, non-appearance of the
ombudsperson before the court was unconstitutional.
The court adjourned hearing to Jan 14.
The contempt petition filed by Advocate Saleem Javed sought action against the ombudsperson
for violating a stay order issued by the high court.
The petitioner`s counsel said that a woman associate of his client had filed a harassment
complaint before the ombudsperson, but the high court had stayed the proceedings on it.
He informed the court that the ombudsperson had ignored the stay order and continued
proceedings on the complaint. The counsel sought action against the ombudsperson under the
contempt of court law because the respondent had ignored court`s notices and was avoiding her
appearance before it.