Contempt proceedings against Ahsan Iqbal adjourned till September 5


LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday adjourned contempt of court proceedings against former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal till September 5.

A three-member bench led by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi was hearing a petition filed against Iqbal, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and 16 other leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for making anti-judiciary speeches.

Iqbal’s lawyer informed the court that his client had submitted an unconditional apology in relation to the contempt of court proceedings against him.

To this, the bench questioned whether the former interior minister had accepted his mistake. You have praised yourself [more than apologise] in your response, the bench said to Iqbal.

Outside of the court, you give statements that your party is being targeted. On the one hand, you say you won’t make such statements, but outside you give out the same statements, the bench remarked.

“If the verdict is in your favour then the judiciary is right, otherwise it is wrong. You tell us, which other party besides yours has commented on the judiciary?” observed Justice Atir Mahmood of the LHC.

The court then remarked that former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had appeared during the previous hearing, and the verdict was made on merit.

Iqbal’s counsel pleaded that the contempt of court proceedings against his client be ended, since his client had apologised unconditionally.

The court then postponed the proceedings until after elections, till September 5.

The petition, filed against Ahsan Iqbal and other PML-N leaders, states that Iqbal and Nawaz used derogatory language against the Supreme Court judges on April 25 and 23, respectively, and the same was aired by TV channels.

The petitioner has contended that the respondents’ action was barred under Article 68 of the Constitution but the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) did not take any action despite being empowered by the PEMRA Ordinance.

The petitioner has further stated that the authority failed to implement provisions of PEMRA Ordinance and the court orders of April 16, therefore, contempt proceedings should be initiated against the respondents.