ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court will indict Pakistan People’s Party Vice President and former law minister Babar Awan on March 20 in contempt of court case for addressing a press conference against the court’s December 1, 2011 order on the memogate.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Athar Saeed after hearing the preliminary arguments on March 1 had reserved the judgement in the contempt case of former law minister.

The court has observed that after going through the facts and watching the video, it is of the opinion that matter should be proceeded further. The hearing was adjourned till March 20, 2012 in which charges would be framed against the accused.

During Thursday’s proceedings, a large number of lawyers were present with Awan in the courtroom. After the court’s decision, they raised slogans in favour of Awan and displayed stickers on the court wall reading ‘Awan is innocent’.

It is to be noted that video footage of the press conference held by Awan along with other PPP leaders was shown in the courtroom in the last date of hearing. Counsel for Awan, Ali Zafar, was of the opinion that his client had not made any remarks which ridiculed the judiciary. He said the freedom of speech could not be barred in the name of freedom of judiciary.

Zafar told the court that his client in his statement said that he had utmost respect and regard for the judge in question - Justice Asif Saeed Khosa -and considered him to be a leading luminary. In case any hurt was felt by Justice Khosa, Dr Babar Awan expressed his personal pain and deepest regrets to him, the counsel said.

Justice Ejaz had observed that Awan had only expressed regret but not tendered apology for his remarks about the family of the apex court judge.