LHC sentences lawyer to 6 months in jail for misbehaving with judge

Published April 8, 2024
Advocate Zahid Mahmood Goraya is in police custody at LHC. — Photo via author
Advocate Zahid Mahmood Goraya is in police custody at LHC. — Photo via author

Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan on Monday sentenced a lawyer to six months in jail under a contempt of court charge for misbehaving with a judge.

Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmad had forwarded a reference to the LHC chief justice for taking action against Advocate Zahid Mahmood Goraya on charges of committing misconduct in his court after the latter had misbehaved during a hearing in his court.

The lawyer had then appeared before the court following a show-cause notice issued to him under the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, read with Article 204 of the Constitution.

Last week, Goraya tendered an unconditional apology. However, Justice Khan had indicted him under the contempt charges.

Talking to the reporters, the lawyer had claimed the misconduct was never an intended act but happened at the spur of the moment. He had further claimed that the judge had accepted his apology with a promise to withdraw the reference.

Today, Justice Khan resumed hearing the case. Goraya appeared before the court along with his lawyer, LHC Bar Association President Asad Manzoor Butt, while Punjab Prosecutor General Farhad Ali Shah was also present.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, Goraya repeatedly urged the court to adjourn the proceedings till after Eidul Fitr.

“I am seeking forgiveness from the court. Even if I am sentenced, I will still seek forgiveness,” Goraya said.

During the hearing, which lasted for more than three-and-a-half hours, the court recorded the testimonies of three witnesses.

Goraya then sought the court’s permission to go to the washroom as he suffered from diabetes, at which the LHC chief justice quipped that “every other person nowadays” was a diabetes patient.

The LHCBA president also urged the court to forgive the lawyer, stating, “We will go to Justice Tanvir and seek forgiveness from him [too].

To this, Justice Khan replied, “I have taken an oath under the Constitution.”

Subsequently, the LHC sentenced Goraya to six months in prison, ordering him to be taken to jail, and fined him Rs100,000.

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