Contempt of court

December 07, 2019

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THE subject contempt of court, as is generally perceived, deals with three issues: (i) refusing to execute an order of the court or refusing to implement the decision of the court, (ii) threatening judges of physical assault and such and (iii) criticism during the proceedings (of a case) and/or on the decision of the court and related matters.

The first two issues are universally accepted by all as punishable — no exception. Regarding the third one I submit that most people don’t realise that criticism at any time and stage is, perhaps, the best feedback.

Besides, in my opinion, this aspect, number (iii), should be revisited vis-a-vis (a) fundamental right to freedom of expression, (b) Qur’anic injunction (4 (Surah Nisa), 148) and that (c) it is an excellent feedback (Zabaan-i-Khalq Ko Naqqara-i-Khuda Samjho).

I request relevant authorities to revisit this aspect of contempt of court for the benefit of everyone.

Prof Mahboob Mohammad

Karachi

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2019