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Sukkur court summons Maryam Nawaz in contempt case

SUKKUR Court: A district and sessions court on Wednesday summoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and chief organiser Maryam Nawaz in the contempt case filed over scandalous remarks against judges of the Supreme Court.

Additional Sessions Judge Mumtaz Solangi has directed Maryam Nawaz on March 10. He has also summoned SSP Sukkur and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) officers in the case.

The petition was filed by the PTI district Sukkur president Zaheer Babar, alleging that the PML-N stalwart had defamed the institutions.

Addressing a workers’ convention in Sargodha last week, the PML-N chief organiser had expressed reservations over some of the judges of the top court’s nine-member bench formed to take up the suo motu notice on delay in Punjab and KP polls.

A day earlier, former Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan wrote a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, seeking action against Maryam Nawaz for “scandalising courts and personalised criticism of judges”.

The senior advocate, in his letter, referred to a speech made by the PML-N leader on Feb 23 in Sargodha where she came hard on the former serving judges of the Supreme Court for allegedly conspiring against his father Nawaz Sharif.

The letter starts as, “It is very unusual for me to write such letters but as a very senior counsel/advocate, considering myself a part of the judicial system and administration of justice, I feel it my duty to place before you the fact that occurred on 23rd of February, 2023 at Sargodha. Our judiciary is our pride and honour, which we are bound to protect, wherefore I am compelled to pen this letter”.

Saying he had no grudge nor any personal enmity against Maryam Nawaz, the former AGP said the PML-N leader made Feb 23 speech “with a view to rouse their sentiments against the judges and the Supreme Court purposely, with obvious motivated intent, with a view to criticize and bring the Supreme Court as also individual judges to disrepute, with improper motives and imputing them without authority, proof or document, amounts to scandalizing the court as also the judges through personal criticism”.

He said the criticism of judges and courts came at the stage when the suo moto case regarding the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was being heard by the nine-member bench – now split into five-member bench. He said the two judges, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sayyad Mazahar Akbar Naqvi, who were a part the bench, were criticised by Maryam.

He said the “purposive act of Maryam, shows a clear intent, which amounts to or has the effect of obstructing the administration of justice. Such actions on part of any public figure, is in fact an attack on the judiciary and its independence”.

He also talked about leaked audiotapes of judges, saying these were spread without authenticity, adding that making allegations without credible proof warranted an action. He also cited Article 204(2) which categorically states, “A court shall have power to punish any person who abuses, interferes or obstructs the process of court or who scandalises the court or brings a judge of a court into hatred ridicule or contempt”.

“Sir, it is now on the court to proceed on the basis of these facts being laid before this Honorable Court, for securing the majesty, integrity, safeguard, independence and confidence of the Judiciary in accordance with the Constitution and the law,” the letter concluded.

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