ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday cautioned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Nehal Hashmi against taking the contempt proceedings lightly.

“At the last hearing, you had said that you have prepared a response. Why you have not filed it so far. I think you are taking this lightly,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan said.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal heard the suo moto (notice) against Nehal Hashmi over his alleged remarks against investigators grilling prime minister’s sons, and members of the implementation bench of the Panama case. The court granted 10 days time to Hashmi to file the reply.

On June 1, the bench had issued a show-cause notice to the senator under Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 with the direction to submit a reply on June 5. However, Hashimi on Monday requested the bench that he should be granted some time so that he could engage a counsel. “So far, no lawyer is ready to defend my case,” he told the court.

Hashmi pleaded that he could not have got access to all the record. “I will provide the USB which contains my whole speech which should be played in the court so that the judges could see that I did not utter even a single word against them,” he said.

Hashmi said that in the last 30 years he had been in this field (lawyer) and can never even think of ridiculing the judges and the courts. “I have always struggled to uphold the dignity of this institution as I am also from the legal fraternity.”

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan appreciating his remarks said: “You went to the church on Sunday but you have done the reverse. We expect you will submit the reply before the next hearing.”

The senator requested the court to relist the case after Eid. Justice Ejaz first adjourned the case until June 15, but when Hashmi said he had arranged an Iftari on June 15, the court deferred the hearing until June 16.