Postpones indicting Talal Chaudhry
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a contempt of court petition against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif filed by a leader of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s political party.
The petitioner, Sheikh Ahsanuddin, argued that Sharif committed contempt during his speeches at the GT Road rally in the immediate aftermath of his disqualification via the verdict in Panamagate case. “Nawaz Sharif crossed all limits [in his criticism],” the petitioner told the court.
The apex court’s bench, however, appeared unmoved by the arguments. “Commenting cleanly on a [court] decision is the right of every citizen,” Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar remarked.
The CJP also said that the accused may have “crossed the line” in some other comments but it did not appear to be during his speeches at the GT Road rally. “We have to take notice of contempt, not you,” the CJP told the petitioner.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that judicial forgiveness should be exercised by the courts. He added that the court’s limits for forgiveness are broader than those of the petitioner.
The PML-N had stepped up its criticism of the judiciary in the aftermath of Panamagate case, especially targeting the five-member bench that ousted Nawaz Sharif. The SC on Tuesday had dismissed other contempt petitions against Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and his brother Shahbaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted Pakistan Muslim League–N leader Talal Chaudhry’s request, giving him time to present his arguments before framing contempt charges.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan resumed hearing in the ongoing contempt case against state minister for interior.
The request, made by Defense Counsel Kamran Murtaza on behalf of Chaudhry, asked the top court to allow the defendant to make his arguments before indicting him in contempt case.
Murtaza also requested the court to present his arguments today (March 15) as he had to attend the funeral of one lawyer’s father. Following which, the bench decided to adjourn the hearing.
On March 8, the top court had decided to frame contempt charges against Chaudhry. Defence counsel Kamran Murtaza had claimed that the delay in being given the CD regarding Chaudhry’s alleged contemptuous speeches was the reason they had not been able to view it yet. “We will give a detailed reply after watching it,” Murtaza had told the court.