ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader Daniyal Aziz on Saturday approached the Supreme Court challenging his contempt of court conviction, which disqualified him for a period of 5 years for holding public office.

In his appeal, filed by Advocate Ali Raza, Aziz contended that the judgment, wherein he was convicted, was based on a misreading and non-reading of material evidence brought on the record.

On June 28, the top court had convicted PML-N’s outspoken leader Daniyal Aziz under the contemplation of Article 204 (2)(b) of the Constitution read with Section 3 of CoC Ordinance 2003.

The court had ruled that Aziz had made him liable to be committed for Contempt of Court within the contemplation of Article 204 (2)(b) of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 punishable under Section 5 of the said Ordinance.

However, in the instant appeal, Aziz contended that the judgment failed to consider the settled principle in contempt proceedings that it was not the function of the court to go behind the statements and into the mind of the speaker as to his possible intention. He further stated that the court had also erroneously considered words as not having been broadcast by a TV Channel.

“It is humbly submitted that what has not been publicly broadcast cannot be the basis for holding the Appellant in contempt,” it added.

The judgment, it added, failed to take into account the entire context of the conversation present in the clip as a TV channel and the comprehensive explanation submitted by him.

“Hence placing reliance on a selective portion of the otherwise detailed explanation submitted for the term ‘script’ and therefore [Judgment] fails to examine all of the facts present before the top court,”  it added.

“The impugned judgment has failed to consider the fact that the statements made by Appellant (Aziz) admittedly pertain to contentious issues involving public and the Appellant being a duly elected member of the National Assembly had offered his opinion as always having done so on a multitude of occasions over the years. At no time was it the intention of the Appellant to bring this August Court into hatred, ridicule or contempt when he categorically stated he has nothing but utmost respect and reverence for this August Court,” it added.

It added that the judgment had failed to take into consideration the fact that the video clip telecast on channel was a recording made by an unknown person and without the consent of Aziz at a closed door occasion and therefore, even otherwise was neither admissible in evidence as the maker of the original video was never produced by the prosecution.

It contended that the video clip even otherwise should not have been publicly telecasted by the channel whereas the sub headings run on the same simultaneously showed the potentially mala fide intent on the part of the television channel to malign Aziz.

“It is in such circumstances that this August Court has always acted in a gracious, lenient and compassionate manner thereby ensuring it cannot even be perceived that contempt is used as a tool to ensure the court’s dignity; which stands on its own sure footing and does not require to be protected by mere punishment – rather it stands reinforced by a person accused of contempt stating unconditionally confirming his respect for the dignity and stature of this August Court,” it added.

The impugned judgment is based on presumptive reading of the evidence and facts and the finding of guilt against the Aziz is without any basis in law and fact and contrary to the considered principles laid down by the court, the appeal stated.