The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to accept former law minister and PPP leader Babar Awan’s unconditional apology and hinted at framing contempt charges against him today (Thursday). A two-member bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ather Saeed observed that if contempt charge was framed against Awan today (Thursday), it should be considered that his apology was rejected. During the hearing, Babar Awan was also present in the courtroom.
Ali Zafar, counsel for Babar Awan, contended that when an accused tendered unconditional apology, the contempt proceedings were terminated. But the court did not immediately accept the contention of Ali Zafar and noted that it was always the discretion of the court to accept or reject the apology keeping in view the nature of the contempt. Zafar told the court that he wanted to advance some arguments on the apology thus his client may not be indicted today (Wednesday) and the matter may be adjourned for Thursday.
The court then adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday) hinting at framing charges. Earlier on April 10, the court had adjourned until April 18 contempt of court proceedings against Babar Awan after indicating that his unconditional apology would be considered in his presence.
The court had taken suo motu notice against Babar Awan’s contemptuous address at a press conference held at the Press Information Department on December 2, 2012 after initial order of a larger bench on the memo issue.
On April 9, 2012, an application seeking exemption from personal appearance before the Supreme Court in contempt of court case was filed by Babar Awan through his counsel Ali Zafar.
Zafar had contended in the application that his client intended to have medical check up during his recent visit to India until April 17, thus he may be exempted from personal appearance on medical grounds. On April 2, due to unavailability of Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq, the court had adjourned the hearing in the contempt of court case against Babar Awan and fixed April 10 for framing contempt charges against him. Awan and some other federal ministers had launched a tirade against the Supreme Court at a press conference soon after it had ordered an inquiry into the memo issue by Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) former director general Tariq Khosa and had attacked the family of a sitting judge of the apex court for being brother of Tariq Khosa.