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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Tallal Chaudhry on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to set aside its July 2 conviction awarded to him for committing contempt of court.

A three-page appeal filed through Mr Chaudhry’s counsel Kamran Murtaza argued that the verdict was “bad on facts and law” and, therefore, liable to be set aside since it was not sustainable in the eyes of the law.

On July 2, a three-judge bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Faisal Arab had awarded Rs100,000 fine to Mr Chaudhry after he lost elections from constituency NA-102 Faisalabad. Earlier on June 28, the PML-N leader’s former cabinet colleague Danial Aziz was also convicted by the apex court on contempt charges and awarded the same punishment till rising of the court.

With the conviction, Tallal Chaudhry was also disqualified for five years under Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution. The provisions says: “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen a member of the parliament if he has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for propagating any opinion or acting in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the armed forces of Pakistan.”

Now through his appeal, Mr Chaudhry has recalled that contempt proceeding against him was initiated on a suo motu notice on a note of the Supreme Court registrar about his two speeches. Subsequently, a show-cause notice was issued which was replied by him, but the reply was found not satisfactory.

Mr Chaudhry contended that though he had deposited the fine amount and even served the sentence, he had filed the appeal to remove the stigma of being convicted.

He pleaded that the court, after examining the contempt case record, should set aside the July 2 conviction and acquit him of all charges.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018