IHC reserves verdict on contempt cases against Awan, Ghulam Sarwar

Published November 14, 2019
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan (2L) arrives in IHC for the hearing of a contempt case against him. — DawnNewsTV
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan (2L) arrives in IHC for the hearing of a contempt case against him. — DawnNewsTV

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on contempt of court cases against Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and prime minister's aide Firdous Ashiq Awan, after both of them offered unconditional apologies for their remarks.

The verdict of the cases, which were being heard together by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, will be announced on November 25.

During the hearing of the case, Justice Minallah lashed out at Sarwar for linking the release of Nawaz Sharif on bail with a 'deal'.

"You are a representative of the federal cabinet," the IHC chief justice said. "You have raised questions on the medical board [constituted by the government].

"The court announced a verdict on that medical board and you declared it as fake."

The aviation minister said that he had "expressed doubts" about the medical board.

"You have tried to influence a pending case," declared Justice Minallah. "This is contempt of court and you don't even realise what you have said."

"I do realise," Sarwar insisted. Justice Minallah said that the court "respects" the minister.

"The purpose of summoning you here is to make you understand," the chief justice said.

"You tried to make people lose confidence in institutions by your remarks."

Sarwar offered an "unconditional apology" and said: "I apologise if my remarks have caused pain to the court."

"The court does not experience pain," the judge said. "Court verdicts are recorded by history."

The court told Sarwar to "submit whatever [he] wants to say in writing". The minister responded: "I don't want to contest this case that is why I am offering an unconditional apology."

Awan, special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting, had also appeared before the court for a hearing of a similar case. The court reserved its verdict in that case as well.

The high court had issued separate notices to Sarwar and Awan for their remarks over an IHC verdict that granted bail to former premier Nawaz in the Al Azizia case on medical grounds. Awan, who had been summoned for saying that the IHC decision to grant bail to Nawaz was "a special dispensation", had earlier submitted a written apology to the court.

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