Former law minister Babar Awan’s lawyer Ali Zafar upheld ‘freedom of speech’ during the contempt of court hearing against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader in the Supreme Court on Monday, Express News reported. He said that the freedom of speech cannot be barred in the name of the freedom of judiciary.
Zafar said that the court issued the contempt notice prima facie, and asked the two-member bench, comprising Justice Ijaz Afzal and Justice Athar, to point out exactly where Awan had committed contempt in his December 1 press conference.
The bench remarked that it was clear that Awan had committed contempt by the way he mocked the judiciary in his press conference, but Zafar insisted that the contempt law is only present to ensure the respect for judiciary and not to punish people.
However, the bench stated that no compromise can be made when it comes to the judiciary’s respect.
Awan’s statement was also read out by his lawyer during the hearing which stated that his press conference was not against the court. Awan mentioned that he was grieved if the court’s dignity was hurt by any of his statements.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till March 1, during which the video of Awan’s press conference will be aired.