ISLAMABAD: Taking a lenient view of contemptuous speeches by two members of the federal cabinet, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday withdrew show-cause notices issued to them under the contempt of court law.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah disposed of the matter, observing that though federal minister for aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and special assistant to the prime minister on information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan have prima facie committed the contempt of the court, the court, while exercising maximum judicial restraint, had discharged the show-cause notices against them.

Justice Minallah also advised them to be careful in future since the executive is responsible for strengthening the confidence of the judiciary in the eyes of the people at large, but here it appeared that ministers were lowering the public faith in the judicial system.

The IHC chief justice expressed displeasure that the judiciary had been dragged to settle the political point scoring not only by the ruling party but by the opposition also as it criticised courts in case of announcement of adverse judgments.

A petition has been filed against prime minister in Islamabad High Court

The court disposed of the case with the hope that in future members of the federal cabinet would realise their responsibility and avoid passing such remarks that would prejudice pending proceedings.

“In fact this is the actual form of contempt when someone carelessly comments on the pending proceedings,” Justice Minallah observed.

Both Ms Awan and Mr Khan assured the court of being careful in future.

In a related development, retired inspector general of police Saleemullah Khan filed a petition in the IHC praying it to start contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Imran Khan since he had expressed doubts on medical reports of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The IHC would examine the maintainability of the petition on Tuesday (today).

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019

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