LAHORE: The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision on Wednesday to give PTI chief Imran Khan another week to file his reply in the contempt of court case brought against him for criticising a sessions judge didn’t go down well with the PML-N, whose leadership accused the judiciary of having a “double standard”.

In a Twitter post, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said “the relaxation and facilities provided to Imran Khan” had once again exposed “the injustices and excesses” against the party and its supremo Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified in 2017 by the Supreme Court from holding public office for life.

“The scales [of justice] could not be balanced,” she said.

The allegations against the PTI chairman stem from a speech he made, criticising the judge Zeba Chaudhry, for giving his chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill, in police custody in a sedition case.

“In fact, the punishment for contempt should be given to judge Zeba sahiba, who insulted the honour of Imran Khan by upholding justice,” Maryam Nawaz said in another tweet, which she retweeted using the hashtag “dual standards of justice rejected”.

Another PML-N leader, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, also criticised the judiciary, regretting that courts didn’t take a lenient view in the cases of PML-N leaders Daniyal Aziz, Talal Chaudhry and Nehal Hashmi.

“Previous court decisions are making a mockery of justice,” she tweeted. “If today’s decision [of the IHC] is right, those [previous] decisions should also be corrected, and if they were correct, justice should be seen in this decision as well.”

Referring to Nawaz Sharif, she said a three-time prime minister was disqualified for life for not taking a salary from his son, removed as party head and sent to jail with his daughter.

“If popularity is the measure of justice, where was this yardstick in the case of [former] prime minister Nawaz Sharif?” she wondered.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal also retweeted a post of senior journalist and former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi, stating: “Can any legal eagle quote a precedent where a court asked an alleged contemnor to ‘revise’ his response to the charge instead of proceeding on its basis? Is the IHC telling Imran to offer ‘some sort’ of apology in writing so that it can let him off the hook?”

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2022

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