Fake degree case : Court appoints amicus curiae as Sumaira wants new attorney

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday appointed former attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) Makhdoom Ali Khan as amicus curiae in the Sumaira Malik fake degree case and issued notice to the AGP in the same case, before adjourning it.
A five-member special bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, heard the appeal petition filed by Sumaira Malik against her fake degree case.
Asma Jahangir, counsel for Sumaira Malik, filed an application in the SC for changing the lawyer as Iftikhar Gilani was earlier pleading the case, and during its last hearing he refused to contest the case. 
The new lawyer for the case pleaded the apex court that “changing a lawyer is the fundamental right of any citizen” and requested the bench to allow changing the lawyer.
The court remarked that the selection of a lawyer was “no doubt a fundamental right” but the SC rules did not allow the changing of a lawyer during the course of an “appeal”.
Asma Jahangir submitted that if a lawyer was not “ready to appear” in the court then what her client should do to protect her “right of an appeal”.
After hearing the arguments, the special bench directed to appoint Makhdoom Ali Khan as amicus curiae for the case and issued notices to the respondent Malik Umer Aslam and the AGP to argue the legal points regarding the application for changing the lawyer, and adjourned the hearing until the date in office.
The SC last year disqualified Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Sumaira Malik for contesting the 2008 elections with a fake degree. The apex court also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to file a criminal case against her. Sumaira Malik emerged victorious in the elections in NA-69 Khushab in 2008. The SC further said that she should be asked to reimburse all the expenditure incurred while she was in office. The decision was made under a three-member bench headed by former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on October 9 last year.
It is worth mentioning that Malik Umar Aslam Awan had filed a civil appeal against the high court’s verdict given in a fake degree case against Sumaira Malik.

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