Supreme Court reserves verdict in Tallal Chaudry contempt case

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Supreme Court reserves verdict in Tallal Chaudry contempt case
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict in a contempt of court case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and former minister Tallal Chaudry.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed resumed hearing the case today.

Kamran Murtaza, representing Chaudry in the contempt proceedings, concluded his arguments before the bench, and pleaded the court that it announce its judgment after the July 25 general election.

To this, Justice Gulzar Ahmed responded that the court cannot announce any date regarding the verdict [as of yet].

The court also ordered that Chaudry ensure his presence before the bench when the verdict is announced.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court said it would not take the lead from any institution and base its verdict on the law in the contempt proceedings against the PML-N leader.

The defence counsel informed the court that the Supreme Court’s registrar had written a note to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on February 1, 2018, stating that a video clip of his client was contemptuous and was creating hindrances in legal proceedings.

The note said that contempt proceedings against Chaudry should be taken up in compliance with Article 204, which deals with contempt of court against a high court or the Supreme Court, Murtaza informed the court.

“The note was presented on February 1, and an order was issued on the same day, along with a notice,” he said.

“However, my client, in the content on which the suo motu notice was taken had in fact said that disrespecting judicial mandate was the biggest contempt.”

To this, Justice Ahmed said that he was unaware of the documents that the defence counsel had spoken about. “The court had taken up contempt proceedings on two speeches [delivered by Chaudry],” the judge observed.

“We are not aware of the documents that you have mentioned, nor aware where they have come from,” Justice Ahmed told the defence counsel.

Murtaza then responded by saying that the documents he had mentioned were sent to the chief justice by the registrar through a note. “Following the chief justice’s order, 22 speeches were collected,” the defence counsel contended.

Chaudry’s legal counsel further said that the proceedings against his client were taken up on the basis of two speeches that had a three-minute duration each. “The reasons for contempt were not listed in the notice,” he argued.

The defence counsel further contended that only two of the 117 television channels were monitored. “According to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) DG Operations Haji Adam, all of the 117 channels on air are monitored. But there is nobody in Pakistan who can take up so much work,” Murtaza said.

Justice Ahmed remarked that there was definitely someone in Pakistan who was helping the country run effectively. Murtaza responded by saying that even PEMRA had not taken an immediate notice of both speeches of his client.

“The court will not take lead from PEMRA to reach a verdict; it will base its decision on the law,” said Justice Ahmed.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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