IHC reserves verdict on Awan, Sarwar contempt of court case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on a contempt case against Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

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IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who presided the hearing, reserved verdict on the minister for aviation’s unconditional apology.

During the proceedings today, the chief justice told Sarwar that he was not a common man and was, in fact, a federal minister. “If a judicial decision comes, criticise it, but use the correct words,” the chief justice remarked. “I have repeatedly said the court respects the Parliament and the elected assembly but you are destroying the people’s trust of the whole system.”

Nawaz Sharif’s appeal is still pending in the court, said the top judge. “Your prime minister and other ministers are saying something else. You are trying to influence the court’s proceedings,” he added.

To this, the aviation minister said, “If you think there has been contempt of court, then I apologise for it. I do not want to fight this case. I submit my unconditional apology to the court.”

The court then issued a contempt of court notice to the federal minister, saying that he should submit a written reply.

Justice Minallah further remarked that the court was not hurt by the comments, adding, “Your job is to increase people’s trust in institutions but you are trying to remove people’s trust in the institutions by your words.”

Sarwar then requested the court to review its show-cause notice sent to him over contempt of court.

The court then reserved its verdict on the unconditional apology by Sarwar and Awan and postponed the hearing till November 25.

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