ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court reserved its judgment on Thursday in the contempt of court case against PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, was hearing the case here. The defence counsel, Ali Raza, contended that his client, Daniyal Aziz, never intended to malign the judiciary, adding that he had just criticised judgments in public.
Raza stated that the headline appearing in an Urdu daily, which was attributed to him, was denied, and the witness (reporter) also confirmed that Aziz had not used these words. On the statement aired by private TV channel, he stated that his client was addressing a private function at the Punjab House in which the TV channel was not allowed for coverage
Raza said that Aziz was referring to a ‘script’ mentioned by Javed Hashmi in January last year according to which PTI was to topple the PML-N government with the assistance of some elements of the establishment.
In response, Justice Sheikh told Ali Raza that his client had been charged for passing comments on a judge and not the judgment.
“I still stand by (my assertion) that anyone can give a fair or unfair comment on a verdict,” the judge maintained.
Earlier, Waqar Rana, the prosecutor in this case, stated that the alleged contemnor had mounted an attack on the institution.
The bench observed that without an independent judiciary, a democratic set-up would turn into fascism because the buck always stopped at the Supreme Court.
Also on Thursday, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar transferred Faisal Raza Abidi’s contempt case to another bench.
Abidi had filed an application, calling for the formation of a new bench, comprising non-PCO judges to hear his case. The court, however, refused to shift the matter to the SC’s Karachi registry.
On April 18, the top court asked police to produce former senator Faisal Raza Abidi before the court for using derogatory language against the chief justice.
Raza Abidi had filed the CMA, which says; “The Chief Justice of Pakistan took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) 1999, when his lordship was elevated as judge of the Lahore High Court.”
The former senator stated that he believed in each and every word of the Constitution and had waged a struggle for democracy and constitutionalism throughout his life.
“The doctrine of independence and accountability of judges as expounded by Islamic jurisprudence, constitution, doctrine of due process of law and rule of law envisages that a new bench comprising of non-PCO judges may kindly be constituted to protect the fundamental rights of applicant for the adjudication of allegations levelled against the applicant.”
During the hearing, a video clip of his speech was played in the courtroom. The chief justice angrily reminded Abidi to stand in accordance with proper manners and etiquette in the court. He asked Abidi’s counsel, Amjed Hussain Bukhari, his client’s demeanor did not demonstrate that he was there to tender apology.
Initially, the court told the counsel that both pleas filed by his client had been dismissed.
But later, the bench rejected the plea for transferring Abidi’s case to the Karachi registry.
Abidi’s second application stated because of serious threats posed by militant organisations, he was unable to conduct any business and was unable to afford to travel from Karachi to Islamabad.