STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Pakistan SC disqualifies senior PML-N leader for contempt of court

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad, sentenced Chaudhry till the rising of the court and also imposed a fine of Rs 100,000.

Published: 02nd August 2018 05:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2018 05:56 PM   |  A+A-

The Pakistan Supreme Court building in Karachi. |File Photo: AFP

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court today sentenced a senior leader of the jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's PML-N party for contempt of court, disqualifying him from holding public office for five years, months after he made anti-judiciary remarks.

The Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against the fire-brand Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Tallal Chaudhry for his "derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements" against the judiciary during a rally in January.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad, sentenced Chaudhry till the rising of the court and also imposed a fine of Rs 100,000.

The apex court found the former state interior minister guilty of violating Article 204 of the Constitution, Dawn newspaper reported.

As a result of his conviction, Chaudhry is ineligible to contest elections for the next five years, it said.

Chaudhry was ordered by the apex court to ensure his presence during today's proceedings, which were based on a suo motu notice on his 'anti-judiciary' speech during a party rally in Jaranwala in January this year.

Chaudhry had contested the July 25 general election from NA-102 (Faisalabad-II) but lost to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's Nawab Shair by nearly 12,000 votes.

During his speech at a PML-N rally, Chaudhry had demanded removing the judges of the apex court, alleging, "they will not give justice but will continue their injustices."

On February 1, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of "contemptuous speeches", and on February 6, the top court issued Chaudhry a show-cause notice, ordering him to file his response.

On July 11, the apex court, after hearing Chaudhry's arguments, had reserved its judgement, which it delivered today.

While speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court today, Chaudhry said, "I accept this verdict if it increases the court's standing."

He also vowed to file a review petition against the verdict.

He also claimed that the contempt case had negatively impacted his poll performance.

He said the people in his district "had difficulties making a decision", and that his opponents had taken advantage of the opportunity by campaigning on his expected disqualification.

"If this decision had been made earlier, then my party would have had a chance to select another candidate who didn't have this kind of hanging sword over his head. The results could have been even better," he claimed.

Chaudhry's conviction follows those of other PML-N leaders who, in their defence of party supremo and deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, made derogatory remarks against state institutions.

Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in jail in a corruption case last month by an anti-graft court.

In June this year, the top court, on a similar case, sentenced former federal privatisation minister and PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz for contempt "till rising of the court".

The contempt judgement also led to similar automatic disqualification from Parliament for five years and restrained Aziz from contesting the July 25 election.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had sentenced then-PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi to jail on contempt charges over his controversial remarks against the judiciary.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp