Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday tender unconditional apology before a full bench of Lahore High Court and submitted his written reply to a contempt notice issued to him.
The bench also directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to submit a detailed report on petitions against the alleged anti-judiciary speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The court also sought a copy of a Supreme Court’s order regarding the pardon given to two of the contemnors involved in staging an anti-judiciary rally in Kasur.
In his reply, Ahsan Iqbal stated he “respects for the courts and always abides by the law”. He had appeared before the bench along with his counsel Azam Nazir Tarar.
The counsel requested the court to discharge the contempt proceedings against the former minster as Ahsan Iqbal.
To this, the bench observed that Ahsan Iqbal could have adopted legal course if he had any reservation with the remarks of the chief justice of Pakistan but he did not do so.
The bench, while referring to anti-judiciary speeches of ex-cabinet members Nehal Hashmi, Danyal Aziz, Talal Chaudhry and Maryam Aurangzeb, asked Ahsan Iqbal, “Did you ever teach this lesson to other leaders of your party?” Ahsan Iqbal replied that he should not be punished for the sins of others. On the bench’s order, the video of the former minister’s objectionable speech was also played in the court room.
Further hearing of the case was postponed till June 11. The bench earlier had issued a notice to Ahsan Iqbal to explain about his judiciary remarks he made apparently in response to observations by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar about his involvement in appointment of vice chancellor of a women university. A petition against the former interior minister was filed after he made a speech at a seminar in April this year in which he had criticised Chief Justice Saqib Nisar for allegedly levelling baseless allegations against him.