ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court indicted on Thursday State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry’s in a contempt of court case.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan read out the charges against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, to which Chaudhry pleaded not guilty.
Counsel for Chaudhry Kamran Murtaza argued that the charges against his client did not fall under the purview of contempt of court. However, the bench observed that his client would be given a chance to defend himself.
The hearing was then adjourned until March 27, when the defence will present its arguments.
On Wednesday, the court had provided Chaudhry a copy of the charge-sheet before adjourning the hearing.
On February 24, the minister had requested the court to withdraw the case, stating 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.
The apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudhry on account of “derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements” with regard to the court, according to a notification issued on February 2. Earlier this week, PML-N leader and Privatisation Minister Daniyal Aziz was indicted for contempt whereas the Supreme Court has restarted contempt proceedings against former PML-N senator Nehal Hashmi after sentencing him for the same earlier.