Contempt case: SC serves show-cause notice to Tallal, gives 1 week to reply

  • PML-N stalwart sought three weeks time for selecting his legal counsel

ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Minister of State for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry over his anti-judiciary remarks and gave him a week’s time to submit his response.

As the three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justices Maqbool Baqar and Faisal Arab, took up a contempt of court case against Chaudhry. The PML-N stalwart pleaded the court to give three weeks time for selecting the counsel.

Justice Ejaz questioned why he had not sought time. The minister replied that lawyers were busy with other cases; therefore, he could not arrange anyone.

However, the court allowed him to take one week, instead of the three he had requested. The case will again be taken up by the apex court on February 13.

Suo Motu Notice

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

The court will hear the matter against the State Minister for Interior Affairs on February 6, when Chaudhry has also been asked to appear.

Talal Chaudhry has been summoned by the Supreme Court and simultaneously SC has asked for the record of his anti-judiciary speeches.

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 in the day, 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.