Contempt charges: Babar Awan wins a fortnight’s reprieve

Published: March 21, 2012

Indictment case adjourned till April 2. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/ EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing into contempt of court charges against Babar Awan till April 2, after he prayed to the court to postpone it on account of his counsel’s absence.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Athar Saeed was hearing the case.

When pressed by the court to argue his case, Awan said he had no reservations to do so, but would be more comfortable if his counsel was present during the proceedings.

It is clear that Awan will be indicted unless he renders an unconditional apology. Justice Ejaz Afzal said it is better the charges are framed against him at the hearing on Tuesday since the bench might be unavailable later.

Awan, however, insisted that the presence of his counsel was necessary and succeeded in getting two-week’s time.

The court questioned him about the nature of his engagements after Awan said he himself was busy in the first week of April. The former law minister said that after his license was suspended, he had no other option but to actively participate in ‘political activities.’

Awan is charged with contempt of court for speaking at a press conference against the Supreme Court’s order on December 1, 2011 for the formation of a judicial commission to probe the Memogate scandal. Awan had said that by ordering the Memogate probe, the court had denied the right of a bicameral parliamentary committee on national security to hold an inquiry.

However, in a written reply submitted to the court by Awan’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar, Awan said he was keen to prove that he had no intention of criticising the judiciary.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.

 

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