Tuesday Mar 13, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Federal Privatisation Minister Daniyal Aziz was indicted on contempt charges by the Supreme Court today.
The development came as a three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the contempt case against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader.
As the hearing went under way, Justice Mushir Alam read the charges, which included several instances where the minister had made anti-judiciary remarks.
Aziz’s counsel Ali Raza pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court then directed the accused to present evidence in his defence after which arguments will proceed.
The next hearing of the case will be announced later.
Hearing the case last week, the bench, which includes Justices Alam and Mazhar Alam Miankhel, had expressed dissatisfaction with Aziz's response to the court's show-cause notice and fixed his indictment for March 13 (today).
Aziz's counsel had informed the court that the media reports of his client's 'anti-judiciary' speech were false.
The minister's response to the court had stated that being a parliamentarian he could not even think of disrespecting state institutions. The reply further said that Aziz believes in the supremacy of the Constitution and respects state institutions, including the judiciary.
“Media ran my comments out of context,” the PML-N leader had stated in the response. He had also pleaded to the court to take back the show-cause notice issued to him in the case.
The apex court had issued the show-cause notice to Aziz on February 19, after a contempt of court notice was sent to him on February 2 over his “controversial speeches and statements made during television shows”.