The Supreme Court (SC) is due to announce its verdict in Babar Awan contempt case today reported. The SC on March 1st had reserved its verdict over a contempt issue pertained to addressing a press conference at Press Information Department by Babar Awan, former law minister and PPP vice president, after December 1 initial order of the SC on memo matter.
A two-Judge bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Athar Saeed after watching video recording of the press conference reserved its verdict and said that it would be announced on March 8.
During previous hearing Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, counsel for Babar Awan, had submitted a written reply with the bench saying that his client Dr Babar Awan, always held the judiciary in the highest esteem and would never even think or imagine of uttering anything which was derogatory to any court whatsoever.
He had apprised the bench that his client being a senior advocate of the Supreme Court firmly believed that if he scandalized the court in any manner, he was in fact defaming himself as the courts and lawyers were two wheels of the same chariot and disrespect of one would lead to the loss of other.
Clarifying his position, the counsel said that on December 1, 2011, his client along with other office bearers of the PPP, attended the conference against the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-N headed by Nawaz Sharif, which was a political opponent party.
“The entire speech was a political debate in historical prospective which took place in the context of the past background of opposition between the two political rivals; ie, PPP and PML-N and its leadership and was not aimed at and never intended to scandalize or ridicule the Supreme Court or its judges and was not against the Supreme Court or any of its judges,” he replied to bench’s queries.
He further defended that with this background, the respondent submitted whatever was stated in the conference being at the spur of the moment, was never and could never be the respondent or PPP’s intention to be contemptuous or to say anything derogatory to the prestige and esteem of the judicial institutions.
He said the death sentence of quaid e Awam Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was the founder of PPP, was an emotional issue with every PPP worker and public at large and the respondent like others were also felt aggrieved with the judgement and in this context he made his comments during the press conference.
He argued that anything said in this regard were in no way directed or aimed at the judiciary.
About Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, brother of Tariq Khosa, the counsel said that his client had utmost respect and regard for him and considered him to be a leading luminary and Judge about whose acumen and dedication to work was beyond any doubt.
“If however, any hurt is felt on what has been said by the answering respondent vis-a-vis, honourable Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the answering respondent expresses his personal pain and deepest regrets especially to the learned judge,” the counsel added.