–Court asks federal minister to submit arguments and list of witnesses by March 30
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned the proceedings into the contempt case against federal minister Daniyal Aziz till March 30 and directed the petitioner to submit the arguments and witness list before the next hearing.
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 against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader.
Justice Azmat Saeed said that the trial in the contempt case will be transparent and fair as per the constitution. Aziz’s lawyer had raised reservation over the failure of petitioner to submit the list of witnesses before the court. Responding to this, Justice Azmat Saeed asserted: “It is the responsibility of the court to ensure the safety of suspect.”
He explained that when one witness will be recording his/her statement before the court, the other witness will be kept outside the court, adding that no one will ask the witness trivial or unrelated questions.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Waqar Rana submitted that two witnesses — a reporter and an official from the monitoring team of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) will be present in the courtroom.
On the instructions of the bench, Rana provided the list of two witnesses along with documents to Raza.
On March 13, the SC had formally indicted Daniyal Aziz in a case regarding anti-judiciary speeches.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justices Mushir Alam and Mazhar Alam Miankhel, took up the case against the minister. The court indicted the minister under Article 204 and contempt of court law 2003.
The apex court remarked that the federal minister has ‘scandalised’ the judiciary, adding that Aziz intervened in court matters.
Justice Mushir Alam read the charge sheet for the accused minister, while Aziz rejected the allegations levelled against him.
At the last hearing, the bench expressed dissatisfaction over the reply submitted by the minister in the case and fixed his indictment for March 13.
Counsel for the minister contended that the media reports of his client’s ‘anti-judiciary’ speech were false.
In the response, the minister stated that being a lawmaker he could not even imagine of downgrading the state institution, adding that he respects all state institution, including the judiciary.
“Media ran my comments out of context,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader stated, besides asking the court to take back the show-cause notice against him.
On February 2, the apex court had issued contempt of court notice to Daniyal Aziz over anti-judiciary speeches