SC indicts Tallal Chaudhary for contempt of court over anti-judiciary speeches

Published March 15, 2018
PML-N leaders  Maryam Aurangzeb and Tallal Chaudhary at SC on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
PML-N leaders Maryam Aurangzeb and Tallal Chaudhary at SC on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

The Supreme Court on Thursday indicted Minister of State for Interior Tallal Chaudhary for contempt of court.

A three-judge SC bench, comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Faisal Arab, had taken up the matter following the minister’s alleged derogatory and contemptuous statements and speeches against the apex court at PML-N public gatherings.

The court provided Chaudhary's lawyer a copy of the charge sheet, which mentioned that the indictment comes on speeches made on September 24 and 27, 2017. The defendant, however, denied the charges.

Earlier in today's hearing, Chaudhary submitted an application in court asking that the same restraint be shown in his case as shown in cases pertaining to Minister for Railways Saad Rafique and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's alleged contemptuous speeches.

The SC on Wednesday had dismissed a contempt of court petition against Sharif and Rafique filed by a leader of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's political party. The court had said that "commenting cleanly on a [court] decision is the right of every citizen".

Prior to the charges being framed, Chaudhary's lawyer tried to sway the court into pausing the proceedings by asking that the indictment be delayed until the detailed judgment in the Sharif contempt of court case — which was dismissed — comes out.

"An indictment is an unpleasant stain," the lawyer said, adding that his client's statement cannot be termed as contemptuous. "At most, the remarks can be called dishonest, but they do not fall under contempt of court."

"There have been instances in the past where a contempt case was dismissed after an indictment. We will give you the chance to defend Chaudhary, let us indict him," Justice Ijaz Afzal responded.

The case will now be heard on March 27.

During his speech at PML-N's rally in Jarranwala in January, Chaudhary 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."

The court on Tuesday had indicted another PML-N leader, Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz, over his allegedly contemptuous statements, observing that Aziz was "committed to scandalising the court".

Following last year's Panama Papers judgement in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, members of the ruling party, including Aziz and Chaudhary — on a number of occasions — had launched unprecedented verbal attacks on the country’s judiciary, accusing it of having different standards for the former prime minister than for his opponents.

Opinion

Saving Pakistan
27 Feb 2021

Saving Pakistan

If the three main political parties have each failed to govern well, the question arises: why?

Editorial

LoC ceasefire
Updated 27 Feb 2021

LoC ceasefire

THE Pakistan-India relationship is known for its complexity and bitterness, but there are times when surprises of a...
27 Feb 2021

Null and void

HAD people not lost their lives, the ham-fisted attempt at rigging the Daska by-election on Feb 19 could have been...
27 Feb 2021

Minister’s non-appearance

FEDERAL Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda’s continued absence from the Election Commission’s hearing on the...
Terrorist’s escape
Updated 26 Feb 2021

Terrorist’s escape

It is not clear how many military personnel were involved in this incident and what the investigation into their actions revealed.
26 Feb 2021

Penalising filers

THE FBR has decided to penalise taxpayers filing their returns late. Apparently, these filers will be required to ...
26 Feb 2021

Corporal punishment

FOR a child born in our society, the cycle of violence begins early. The first taste of violence often comes at the...