Contempt notice: SC gives Tallal Chaudhry one week to finalise counsel

Minister of State for Interior Affairs Tallal Chaudhry was served on Tuesday a show-cause notice by the Supreme Court over his contemptuous remarks and given a week to file a response.
Chaudhry arrived in court along with senior party leaders, including Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and state minister Tariq Fazl Chaudhry, to appear before a three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justices Maqbool Baqar and Faisal Arab, in the contempt of court case initiated against him.
As the interior minister requested the court for three weeks to finalise counsel, Justice Ejaz questioned why he has not sought adjournment for three months or three years even.
Chaudhry responded that lawyers are busy with cases and thus he could not arrange one.
The bench then gave the defendant a week to finalise his counsel and adjourned the hearing until February 13.
Chaudhry was also directed to submit a response to the show-cause notice at the next hearing.
‘Derogatory and contemptuous’
The apex court initiated contempt proceedings against Chaudhry on account of “derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements” with regard to the honourable court, read a notification issued on February 2.
“You have made derogatory and contemptuous speeches/statements at public gatherings, telecast by different TV channels, which prima facie constitute interference with and obstruction of the process of the Court as well as aimed at belittling the stature of this Apex Court within the contemplation of Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003,” the notification stated.
Also on Friday, the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice to Federal Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz.
Earlier that day, the apex court announced its verdict in the contempt case of Senator Nehal Hashmi, sentencing him to one-month imprisonment and Rs50,000 fine. The court also ruled that Hashmi stood disqualified from holding public office for of five years under Article 63 (1)(g) of the Constitution.
“What I said was about PCO [Provisional Constitutional Order] judges. I never took the name of any [particular] judge nor hinted at any [judge],” said the minister.