The Supreme Court indicted PML-N leader and Privatisation Minister Daniyal Aziz for contempt of court on Tuesday. The minister pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
The court had taken suo motu notice of ‘anti-judiciary’ speeches made by the PML-N leader last year.
Justice Musheer Alam read out the charges in court today.
The bench observed that Aziz was “committed to scandalising the court”.
The SC said that in a Sept 8 press conference, Aziz had alleged that an SC judge had prepared a corruption reference after summoning the National Accountability Bureau’s Lahore team.
In a Dec 15 speech, Aziz had claimed that the purpose of disqualifying Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen was to save Imran Khan, the court said.
Aziz in this speech, while referring to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and Khan’s receiving a ‘clean chit’, claimed that the court’s verdict pointed towards political engineering.
“It was said that all this was being done according to a script,” the court observed.
A third claim made by Aziz against Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Dec 31 was also highlighted by the court in the charges framed against the PML-N leader.
The case was adjourned and the court summoned prosecution witnesses to provide their testimonies in the next hearing on March 26.
Following last year’s Panama Papers judgement in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, members of the ruling party, including Aziz — on a number of occasions — had launched unprecedented verbal attacks on the country’s judiciary, accusing it of having different standards for the former prime minister than for his opponents.
The court’s decision in another contempt case against PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry will be announced on March 14. The court is expected to indict Chaudhry.