The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry, ordering him to file his response before the court next week in a suo motu case pertaining to the "contemptuous speeches" made by the state minister.
Last week, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of Chaudhry's anti-judiciary speeches.
During his speech at PML-N's rally in Jarranwala a week earlier, 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 had said that despite Sharif — the PML-N head — doing so much for the country, "They say that somebody else should become the prime minister."
Appearing before the court today, Chaudhry requested the bench to allow him three weeks to arrange for a lawyer. "Supreme Court lawyers are very busy," Chaudhry said, explaining the reason behind his request.
"Why don't we give you three months or three years?" Justice Ijaz Afzal had remarked. The bench dismissed the PML-N leader's request, ordering him to file his response by Tuesday, February 13.
The hearing was adjourned till that date.
It is pertinent to mention that following last year's Panama Papers judgement in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, members of the ruling party — on a number of occasions — have launched unprecedented verbal attacks on the country’s judiciary, accusing it of having different standards for the former prime minister than for his opponents.
Last week, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court found Senator Nehal Hashmi guilty of committing contempt of court. The court sentenced him to one-month imprisonment, barred him from holding public office for the next five years, and imposed a fine of Rs50,000.
In May 2017, as a Supreme Court-mandated joint investigation team was probing the Sharif family's business dealings in the Panama Papers case, Hashmi had warned that those conducting the investigation would be "taken to task" for grilling the premier's family. The video of Hashmi's remarks had gone viral on social media and was also aired on news channels.
The SC has also taken suo motu notice of anti-judiciary speeches made by PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz.
On December 20, a few days after the SC had cleared Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan in a disqualification case, Aziz, on the floor of the National Assembly had recounted the entire history of the Panama Papers case and questioned the way the courts had conducted the matter.
Stopping just short of blaming Nawaz's ouster in the Panama Papers case on a ‘grand conspiracy’, he had recalled how the Jamaat-i-Islami had filed a petition naming all 450 Pakistanis mentioned in the Panama Papers with the SC, which was declared frivolous and rejected.
Aziz has been asked to appear before the court on February 7 to face contempt of court proceedings.