ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Interior Affairs Talal Chaudhry on Saturday requested the Supreme Court to withdraw the contempt of court notice against him.

The minister stated this in his reply filed in response to the show cause notice through his counsel Kamran Murtaza.

He submitted that the detailed parawise reply would be filed at a later stage if required.

On February 19, the Supreme Court had given one more week to the minister to submit his reply in the contempt case.

Talal submitted: “I firmly believe that I have never intentionally or unintentionally committed any action which may be construed as a contempt of court.”

He said that respect and dignity of the apex court has been ensured through Article 204 of the Constitution. “The provisions of the same constitution jealously guards and protects the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression through Article 19 of the Constitution,” he added.

Talal said that it is well settled by now that the Article 204 of the Constitution is to be construed in conjunction with Article 19 and 66 thereof in a manner which should deter the commission of contempt of court. At the same time it should preserve and protect the freedom of speech and expression, he added.

He submitted that he exercises his right of free speech and expression within the four corners of law and without any hunch of an action which may amount to contempt of this court.

Talal said that he honestly believes that he did not utter anything nor acted in a manner which may be construed as causing obstruction of the process of the court in any way nor any order of the court has been disobeyed.

He submitted to scandalise the court or do any other act which tends to bring this court into hatred, ridicule or contempt is not even the last thing in his mind and whatever has been said might have been taken into account without relevance to the context due to media reporting.

He said that Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has recently observed that speeches made by various persons are misconstrued and depicted in negative phraseology in order to sensationalise certain matters and issues. There is no allegation against him that any action or conduct of him tends to prejudice the determination of a matter pending before the court, he added.

He said that neither he is provided with the content or the material on the basis of which the contempt proceeding initiated against him nor such material or action has been spelt out in the notice. He requested the court to supply him the material or the content regarding the matter.

He submitted that as a parliamentarian and member of the legal fraternity he has the conviction that the respect of an individual flows from the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the land.

However, this element of guarantee of respect has to be reciprocated by the individuals from their conduct and actions of adherence to the law. He said that as a democratic worker and parliamentarian, he has always ventured to uphold the constitution.