Contempt Proceedings Sought Against PTI Leaders

Advocate Mian Dawood claims PTI's Rauf Hassan and Shoaib Shaheen have been passing contemptuous remarks against judges of the superior courts, got a confidence boost due to inaction against Vawda and Mustafa Kamal

Contempt Proceedings Sought Against PTI Leaders

The Supreme Court has been requested to initiate contempt of court (CoC) proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Information Secretary Rauf Hassan and Spokesperson Shoaib Shaheen for criticising and scandalising judges of the superior courts.

Advocate Mian Dawood moved the petition under Article 204 of the Constitution, listing Hassan and Shaheen as respondents. 

According to Dawood's petition, the two PTI leaders are continuously scandalising and ridiculing the judiciary and judges, including Chief Justice Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamir Farooq in an organised campaign on social, electronic, and print media to spread disappointment among the people of Pakistan regarding their trust in the judiciary.

It said that PTI is known for scandalising and ridiculing the judiciary when it does not get decisions in its favour from the courts.

"It is a matter of record that whenever any court gives a decision against the PTI in any case, the official media accounts of PTI and its leaders are being tasked to start hate and threatening campaign against that judge or court by way of discussing their conduct, personal lives," Dawood's petition read.

It maintained that such campaigns are deliberate moves which have been employed for the past two years against the judiciary and institutions, including against judges.

"There are a number of instances when, on instructions of the PTI leadership, the office bearers and workers had launched campaigns against the judiciary and that material available on electronic, print and social media," he claimed.

"Even a contempt case is pending in the Supreme Court against Imran Khan and not being decided due to the reasons best known to the Supreme Court," the petition recalled. Imran Khan was also issued contempt notices for threatening a judge of the lower judiciary.

"The inaction against the contemnors like Imran Khan by the Supreme Court has given an impression to the public that the PTI leaders have been given license to ridicule and scandalise the judges the superior judiciary as the contemnors and their other fellows are doing in these days by using derogatory words in their press conferences, TV talk shows and on social media platforms."

The petition further argued that the tone and content of press conferences and talk shows where Hassan and Shaheen appeared clearly showed that they were scandalising the court and bringing CJP Isa and IHC CJ Farooq into disrepute.

"It is important to mention here that every citizen is constitutionally and legally bound to respect the court and refrain from shocking the court or judicial institution with their malafide goals; if he does so as the case of the respondents is, he may face legal action by the law and the Constitution."

The petition further contended that Hassan and Shaheen should be held accountable for making contemptuous statements through their press conferences and social media accounts. It added that the two alleged contemnors have not only willfully attempted to influence the judicial proceedings but also intentionally ridiculed judges of superior courts, making false accusations against them, thus they need to be attended to under the Constitution of Pakistan and Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

"Apparently taking advantage from the inaction by the judiciary against the leaders of the PTI/Respondents No. 1 and 2, a Senator, namely Faisal Vawada and Member National Assembly (MNA) Mustafa Kamal have also held press conferences against the judiciary as well as against the judges in the same manner and style as the PTI leaders are doing for more than last two years."

It is pertinent to mention here that the top court has already issued show-cause notices to Vawda and Kamal for their contemptuous press conferences 

Dawood, though, recognised: "It is also very appreciating that the Supreme Court promptly and rightly taken a suo-moto, numbered as Criminal Original Petition No. 06 of 2024, against Senator namely Faisal Vawada and MNA Mustafa Kamal over their press conference."

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain