SC defers framing of contempt charges against Tallal for a day

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred framing of charges against State Interior Minister Tallal Chaudhry for a day over contemptuous remarks against the judiciary.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan is hearing the contempt case against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader.

Chaudhry appeared before the bench for the hearing and requested the court to hear his plea before framing charges. To this, Justice Ejaz remarked that “the defendant can plead his case later as charges will be framed today”. “We don’t want to waste more time,” he said.

Chaudhry’s counsel argued that there are precedents of several court verdicts when the bench has shown leniency in such cases.

“The matter is not of dishonouring an individual but an institution,” Justice Maqbool Baqar observed.

However, the hearing was adjourned for a day after Chaudhry’s counsel informed the bench that he has to attend a funeral.

The court provided Chaudhry with a copy of the charge-sheet and will frame the charges on Thursday.

On February 24, the minister, while requesting the court to withdraw the case, had stated that scandalising 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”.

“Whatever has been said might have been taken into account without relevance to the context due to media reporting,” Chaudhry had written in his initial response.

According to a notification issued on February 2, the apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudhry on account of “derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements” with regard to the court.

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