ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Monday issued a contempt of court notice to a foreign company — Tethyan Copper Company (Pvt) Ltd (TCC) — for launching an advertisement campaign in the print media regarding Reko Diq despite the fact that the matter was sub judice.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,افتخار محمّد چودھری, was hearing the petitions filed against leasing of Reko Diq gold and copper mines in Balochistan worth over $260 billion to foreign exploration companies by the Federal Government in violation of law.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Wattan Party had filed a contempt petition under Article 204 of the Constitution against the Tethyan Copper Company (Pvt) Ltd (TCC), praying to the court to issue contempt of court notice to the company for running advertisement campaign in the print media despite the fact that the matter was sub judice.
The apex court while issuing contempt of court notice to the company directed it to file its reply before the court by January 19.The News had reported on November 3, 2010, that some 20 top corporate bosses and lobbyists of two of the world’s largest gold mining groups have been meeting President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, State Bank governor and others in Islamabad throughout the last week, pressing them to quickly hand over one of the world’s biggest gold and copper treasures found in Balochistan at Reko Diq, worth over $260 billion, to their companies for peanuts.
Later, Tariq Asad advocate challenged the case in the apex court, giving all the facts unearthed in the story, broken by The News International.On Monday, the court during the proceedings took strong exception as both the Federal and Balochistan governments could not file their replies to the main petition, challenging the matter.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that despite the fact that the case is very important both the federal and provincial governments could not file their replies in the case. The court directed the federal and provincial governments to file their replies by January 19 and adjourned the hearing till January 25.
Tariq Asad advocate, the petitioner also appeared before the court while Ahmer Bilal Sufi advocate, who is assisting Dr Samar Mubarakmand also appeared before the court and submitted that in the matter, Dr Samar Mubarakmand was asked to carry out the project as he and his team are fully capable to execute all technical aspects of this project, including mining, extraction and purification of metals.