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March 27, 2018

Contempt case: Daniyal to get ample opportunity to defend, says SC

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March 27, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday issued directives to provide list of prosecution witnesses to the counsel of Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz in the contempt of court case against the latter to prepare the arguments.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel heard the contempt of court case. It is expected that the trial against the PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz will start from Friday 30 as the court has already appointed Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar as prosecutor in the case.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken suo moto notice over Daniyal’s contemptuous speeches against the apex court with special reference to Panama Papers case. On March 13, the court had indicted the federal minister in the case. However, he pleaded not guilty and said he would contest the case, as Justice Alam read out the charge sheet.

As per charge sheet, Daniyal obstructed the proceedings and brought hatred and scandal to the court in connection with three statements he delivered last year. “You committed contempt of court under Article 204 Section 3 of Contempt Ordinance 2003,” the court told Daniyal.

On Monday, the court observed that it had not wanted to prejudice the case and a list of witnesses should be provided to Daniyal’s counsel Ali Raza so that he could prepare for cross-examining them accordingly.

The court remarked the accused would be given ample opportunity to defend himself. The case would not be prejudiced, Justice Azmat said. During the hearing, Daniyal along with his counsel appeared before the bench and said he had not denied his statements but the way these were reported was objectionable.

On the other hand, Rana Waqar told the bench that there were two prosecution witnesses –correspondent of an Urdu daily Sajid Hussain and Pemra DG (Monitoring) Haji Adam Khan. Justice Azmat reminded the law officer that he was attorney for the state of Pakistan, not any specific person. He also told the defence counsel that no frivolous questions should be asked, as the court adjourned the hearing till Friday.

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