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19 Sep 2018, 12:48 HRS IST
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  • Pakistan's apex court indicts minister in contempt case

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18:16 HRS IST



By Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad, Mar 13 (PTI)
Pakistan's Supreme court today indicted a minister in a contempt case for making critical speeches against the judicary after the apex court disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers scandal.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the case against the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Daniyal Aziz.

Aziz, the privatisation minister, who was present in the court, pleaded not guilty when charges were read out by Justice Mushir Alam, which included ridiculing the court and making anti-judiciary statements.



The apex court rejected the minister's earlier reply that his statements were presented out of context by the media.

Aziz, along with minister of state for interior Talal Chaudhry, was one of the most vocal advocates of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the hearing of the Panama Papers scandal case by the country's apex court, which disqualified Sharif from holding the post.

Both, Aziz and Chaudhry, were rewarded with ministerial post in the cabinet of Sharif's successor, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

But now, both are in hot waters and separately facing the contempt of court proceedings for making the anti-judiciary remarks.

The Supreme Court is likely to indict Chaudhry tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Supreme Court beach headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar today disposed of a number of contempt of court petitions against former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Raza Gilani, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former Senate chairman Nayyar Bukhari.

Old contempt cases against slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan Peoples Party's leader late Iqbal Haider were also declared ineffective and disposed of.

Similarly, a contempt petition against lawmaker and Sharif's son-in-law, Muhammad Safdar was also disposed of.

The court also wrapped up a plea against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf for holding dual office of the country's chief executive and the army chief in 1999 after a coup against the Sharif's government.

The Chief Justice also observed that the court was noting anti-judiciary remarks being made by some leaders and would take up those cases at an appropriate time.

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