ISLAMABAD- The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday summoned Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after he did not appear before the court despite court notices in a contempt petition against him.

A single member bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued the directive while hearing a contempt plea against the petroleum minister filed by Javed Akbar counsel for CNG stations owners.

The petitioner contended in the petition that the federal minister had passed contemptuous remarks in a news conference regarding the court judgment for provision of natural gas to the CNG stations.

Addressing a press conference on January 11, the minister said that there had been a serious gas crisis in the country over the past three weeks due to severe winter and resultant higher demand and a decision of the IHC to restore gas supply to CNG stations.

During the previous hearing, Justice Siddiqui had observed that the federal government could rightfully have challenged the court order but the minister has ridiculed the court orders.

Petitioner Syed Javed Akbar Shah filed the petition in the court and contended that the federal minister has passed certain derogatory remarks about the court orders showing disrespect.

The petitioner prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the federal minister and journalist who covered the news conference.

Summoning the Minister to appear before the court, Justice Siddiqui deferred the hearing till January 24 (Friday) for further proceedings.