Top court indicts Daniyal Aziz in contempt case

Published: March 13, 2018
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Daniyal Aziz. PHOTO: File

Daniyal Aziz. PHOTO: File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday framed charges against Federal Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz in connection with a contempt of court case.

The three-judge bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh and comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel resumed hearing in the contempt case.

Justice Mushir read out the charge-sheet, wherein it is stated that Aziz obstructed court proceedings, and brought the judiciary into hatred, and scandalised the court in connection with three statements he delivered last year against Justice Ijazul Ahsan,

Contempt case: SC decides to frame charges against Daniyal Aziz

who is monitoring the Panamagate proceedings against the Sharif family.

The charge-sheet states, “You (Daniyal) committed contempt of court under Article 204, Section 3 of the Contempt Ordinance 2003.”

The charge-sheet was read out before Aziz, who refused to accept it and decided to contest it.

Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana has been appointed as prosecutor in the case.

Advocate Ali Raza, the counsel for Aziz, requested for time to file a comprehensive reply.

Justice Sheikh recommended Aziz not to submit a reply in the matter as the bench would record prosecution witnesses first on March 26.

The Supreme Court will also indict Minister of State for Interior Affairs Talal Chaudhry tomorrow (Wednesday) and disqualified Senator Nihal Hashmi on March 26.

Meanwhile, another bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, rejected petitions to initiate contempt cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and others, including Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar.

The contempt petitions were moved by habitual petitioner Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi. The bench observed that the statements against the judiciary will be examined at an appropriate time.

However, the bench has fixed another contempt petition, filed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s party against Sharifs today (Wednesday)

The same bench has also dismissed a review petition filed by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani against his 2012 conviction in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case.

The court on Tuesday resumed hearing of the petition against the speaker of the National Assembly order disqualifying him from holding a seat in parliament for committing contempt of the court.

The petition was 196 days’ time-barred and Gilani was present during court proceedings. The bench dismissed the petition due to non-prosecution.

In February 2013, Gilani had filed the plea 223 days after the decision. It is pertinent to note that a review petition against a judgment has to be submitted within 30 days.

The 2012 Supreme Court ruling stated that the apex court exercised jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to ensure enforcement of the fundamental rights of the citizens in all matters of public importance.

“As a bench of seven Hon’ble Judges vide judgment dated 26.04.2012 followed by the detailed reasons released on 08.05.2012 has found Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani guilty of contempt of court under Article 204(2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment till rising of the court under Section 5 of the said ordinance, and since no appeal was filed against this judgment, the conviction has attained finality,” reads the order.

“Therefore, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has become disqualified from being a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) in terms of Article 63(1)(g) of the Constitution on and from the date and time of pronouncement of the judgment of this court dated 26.04.2012 with all consequences, i.e. he has also ceased to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan with effect from the said date and the office of the Prime Minister shall be deemed to be vacant accordingly.”

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