The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday issued a notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan for attending a ceremony organised by PTI-affiliated Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF) and utilising a public building ‘for a private function which apparently had no concern with the exercise of powers and performance of functions of his office, according to Article 248 of the Constitution’. “The prime minister is the premier of the whole country, not of one particular group. Why is he misusing the state’s resources?” Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked while hearing a civil case against the Punjab government. He added that the matter was related to the constitution and fundamental rights. The apex court also issued notices to the attorney general, the Punjab advocate general and the in-charge of Convention Centre where the ceremony was hosted. Justice Isa asked the Convention Centre’s in-charge to inform the court whether the expenses for the ceremony were paid for.Justice Isa said the premier participated in the event in a personal capacity. In his remarks, the SC judge said that the premier could not align himself with one particular group. “The premier supported a particular group by attending the ceremony,” he said, and referred the matter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for constitution of a bench. In its written order, the apex court stated the observations of Syed Rifaqat Hussain Shah, an officer of the Supreme Court and the Additional Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, who said that the Advocate General Punjab Awais Shah should not involve himself in bar politics. “But unfortunately, the learned AG continues to be actively involved in bar politics and participated in a function held by a particular segment of the legal community to canvass support for their candidate in the upcoming elections of the association and was in the forefront of the function held at the Convention Centre, Islamabad,” wrote the court.The apex court further noted that the matters highlighted by Rifaqat were ‘serious issues’ relating to ‘the maintenance of the integrity of public offices and Fundamental Rights, including Articles 18, 25, 26 and the prescribed oath of office of the Prime Minister’. “The prime minister of Pakistan took votes from the entire country: he is prime minister of the entire country, not a particular group or party,” Justice Qazi Isa said in the notice. Justice Isa also expressed his displeasure with the advocate general of Punjab for skipping a case hearing to attend the Insaf Lawyers Forum programme, which had been organised at Islamabad’s Convention Centre on Friday. “How did a political party use a government building for its event? ” he asked during the hearing.The apex court also issued notices to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and the authority that operates the Convention Center in Islamabad. From the authority operating the Convention Centre, the apex court asked the following questions:1. Who sought permission for the use of the Convention Centre in respect of the said function?2 Who granted permission for the use of the Convention Centre?3 Whether a bill was raised and payment made, and if so, by whom, for the use of the Convention Centre?4 The answers to the aforesaid be submitted with supporting documents.The apex court asked PEMRA to submit a complete recording of the Insaf Lawyers Forum event, its transcript and “the [names[ of television channels which had broadcast the said function live, which had broadcast it later and how many times.”“Does the office of the prime minister allow that they associate themselves with a particular party?” Justice Isa asked. “Did he [PM Imran Khan] attend the event as the prime minister?” he asked Additional Advocate General Punjab Qasim Chohan.“You should tell me if the advocate general and the prime minister should have even been there,” Justice Isa retorted. “Your answer may cost you your job, but [upholding] the law should be above your job.”“I am not a political appointee,” Chohan responded. “I did not attend the event or watch a video of it, so I cannot respond to your questions [at the moment].” “Can the holder of a Constitutional office misuse state resources?” Justice Isa continued, “Can this happen in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?”In the written order, the Supreme Court stated that since the advocate general himself was a party in the case, the person next in seniority to him should represent the Punjab government.It also summoned the vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council and the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association for its next hearing on the matter.