Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court on Monday again granted a week to Minister of State for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry for preparation in the contempt case.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, comprising Justices Maqbool Baqar and Faisal Arab, took up the case pertaining to anti-judiciary speeches.

As the hearing began, Chaudhry’s counsel, Kamran Murtaza, asked the court to grant 10 days for preparation. However, the court gave seven days and adjourned the case until next hearing.

On Feb 13, Chaudhry appeared before the court and informed the bench that he had approached Asma Jahangir to be his counsel in the case, but she died. The court then adjourned the hearing till Feb 19.

On Feb 1, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the anti-judiciary speeches by PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry.

Sources said the registrar gave reference to various speeches made by the state minister in which he insulted the judiciary.

Chaudhry was seen launching a tirade against judiciary at the ruling party’s recent rally in Jaranwala where PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz also criticised Supreme Court and judges.

During his speech at PML-N’s rally in Jarranwala last week, Chaudhry had said: “There was an era when the Kaabah was full of idols. Today, the judiciary, which is the country’s highest institution, is also full of PCO [Provisional Constitution Order] idols.”

“Mian Nawaz Sharif, throw them out, throw him out of the court. They will not give justice but will continue their injustices.”

He said that despite Sharif — the PML-N head — doing so much for the country, “They say that somebody else should become the prime minister.”

Chaudhry has been criticising judiciary in talk-shows and media-talks on occasions of hearings against Sharif family at Accountability Court and the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the apex court announced its verdict in the contempt case of Senator Nehal Hashmi, sentencing him to one-month imprisonment and Rs50,000 fine.

The Supreme Court also ruled that Hashmi stood disqualified from holding public office for of five years under Article 63 (1)(g) of the constitution.