ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Minister of State for Interior and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Tallal Chaudhry in a contempt of court proceeding initiated on a suo motu taken by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar against him for allegedly making derogatory and contemptuous remarks against the judiciary. The court gave the minister one week to come up with his reply to the notice.

The chief justice took the notice after Mr Chaudhry allegedly used derogatory and contemptuous remarks against the judiciary while addressing a PML-N public meeting recently.

Daniyal Aziz, Minister for Privatisation and another firebrand PML-N leader who is facing similarly charges, is required to appear before the apex court on Wednesday.

Daniyal may appear before apex court today; Hashmi moves intra-court appeal against his conviction

On Feb 1, the Supreme Court sent PML-N loyalist Senator Nehal Hashmi to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail for one month for passing threatening remarks against members of the SC-appointed Joint Investigation Team in the Panama Papers case. He has also lost his membership from the Senate and will have to pay a fine of Rs50,000.

On Tuesday, Mr Chaudhry appeared before the three-judge apex court bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal and sought three weeks to reply to the show-cause notice.

Justice Afzal, however, rejected his request and directed him to submit his reply on Feb 13.

It is believed that Talal Chaudhry’s speech at the PML-N public meeting in Jaranwala in the presence of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz drew the attention of the court that issued the contempt notice to him.

Meanwhile, Mr Hashmi has moved an intra-court appeal before the Supreme Court against his conviction with a plea that the court order of Feb 1 is contrary to the facts, law and equity, hence liable to be set aside.

He claimed that there was nothing on record to connect him with the commission of the contempt of the Supreme Court, adding that there were other illegalities, irregularities and improprieties in the judgement on the basis of which his conviction was not sustainable and liable to be set aside. He pleaded in the appeal that the Feb 1 judgement be overturned and he be acquitted of all charges.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2018