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Talal Chaudry to be indicted on contempt charges on March 14

Talal Chaudry

News Analysis |

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) decided to indict State Interior Minister Talal Chaudry in a contempt of court case on March 14. A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, which also includes Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Faisal Arab heard the case against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) outspoken leader on Thursday.

The bench decided to frame charges against the minister and summoned him in person at next hearing on March 14. In an attempt to extend the case further, Talal’s counsel Kamran Murtaza claimed on Tuesday that he had received the CD containing derogatory speeches and statements late and he would present his arguments after detailed examination of the client’s speeches.

Resultantly, CJP has to justify himself because, under pressure from the incumbent government, he seems to struggle to keep consistency, which puts question marks over his credibility.

Although, Talal’s counsel had already submitted a detailed three-page response, in the current hearing, he claimed that it was an interim reply and he would want to submit a detailed reply the analysis of CD’s.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan allowed him to reply his detailed reply after accepting his argument that there could be discrepancies between the transcript of speeches and the CD’s provided. Interestingly, Talal had said in his early response that media reported his speeches without taken into consideration his entire speeches and the context of his arguments.

Read more: Talal Chaudhry given one week to respond to contempt of Supreme…

Despite the fact that during a public gathering in Jarranwala in January, he said, “There was an era when the Kaabah was full of idols. Today, the judiciary, which is the country’s highest institution, is also full of PCO idols.” Continuing his outburst, he added, “Mian Nawaz Sharif, throw them out, throw him out of the court. They will not give justice but will continue their injustices.”

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on February 1 took a suo motu notice of contemptuous statements and public speeches against the judiciary. Later on February 2, a notice was issued which stated that apex court had started the contempt proceedings against Talal for his derogatory speeches.

After these remarks, he was ordered to appear before the court on February 6, where he was given one week to submit a reply in court. However, on February 24, in his written reply, he accused media of out of context reporting and accused media of reporting his speeches in a negative manner.

If suo moto was taken against Tallal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz for contemptuous speeches, why was such action not taken against Khadim Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLP), who lambasted CJP during the Islamabad sit in?

Under pressure, minister had requested the court to withdraw the case. In his written response, he said that scandalizing the court or doing anything that tends to bring the court into ‘hatred, ridicule or contempt’ is ‘not even the last thing on the respondent’s mind’.

Moreover, he said, “I respect SC and struggled for supremacy of the constitution and did not do anything intentionally or unintentionally which come under the contempt of court.” Talal was granted an exemption from appearing owing to a commitment on March 8 but was present in the last hearing on March 6.

Read more: SC issues contempt of court notices to Daniyal Aziz and Talal…

On February 1, a three-member bench of SC headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa sentenced Senator Nehal Hashmi for a month and imposed a fine of Rs50,000 on him after his verbal tirade and blatant threats where he targeted judiciary, defamed and ridiculed the apex court.

The lower tier leadership started the attacked after witnessing the anti-judiciary rhetoric from House of Nawaz, where it targeted judiciary in public gatherings across Pakistan in an attempt to gather support against July 28 ousting of Nawaz Sharif. Court also opened contempt proceedings against PML-N leader and Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz over his allegedly contemptuous statements on different television talk shows.

In an attempt to extend the case further, Talal’s counsel Kamran Murtaza claimed on Tuesday that he had received the CD containing derogatory speeches and statements late and he would present his arguments after detailed examination of the client’s speeches.

CJP Saqib Nisar is also criticized in some circles for taking too many suo moto cases. Nevertheless, this approach should be across the board. Sparing a religious party leader and taking notices only against one particular political party and that even over the selected individuals questions the intentions of the judge and quality of justice. Why apex court seems reluctant to start contempt proceedings against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, despite so many petitions against them.

Read more: PML-N harassment of NAB Court echoes 1997 attack on Supreme Court..!

Resultantly, CJP has to justify himself because, under pressure from the incumbent government, he seems to struggle to keep consistency, which puts question marks over his credibility. If suo moto was taken against Tallal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz for contemptuous speeches, why was such action not taken against Khadim Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLP), who lambasted CJP during the Islamabad sit in?


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