Wednesday Mar 14, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court deferred for a day State Interior Minister Tallal Chaudry's indictment for contempt.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan had decided to frame charges against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader during a hearing of the case, based on the court's notice, on March 8.
Chaudry had been summoned in person for today's hearing. Appearing before the court, Chaudry pleaded the bench to hear his plea before framing charges.
Justice Ejaz remarked that the defendant can plead his case later as charges will be framed today. "We don’t want to waste more time," he remarked further.
Chaudry's counsel Kamran Murtaza argued that there are precedents of several court judgments when the bench has shown leniency in such cases.
Justice Maqbool Baqar observed that the matter is not of dishonouring an individual but an institution.
However, the hearing was adjourned for a day after Chaudry's counsel informed the bench that he has to attend a funeral today.
The court provided Chaudry with a copy of the charge-sheet and will frame the charges tomorrow.
On February 24, the minister had requested the court to withdraw the case, stating that scandalising the court or doing anything that tends to bring the court into ‘hatred, ridicule or contempt’ is ‘not even the last thing on the respondent’s mind.’
“Whatever has been said might have been taken into account without relevance to the context due to media reporting,” Chaudry had written in his initial response.
The apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudry on account of "derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements" with regard to the court, according to a notification issued on February 2.