ISLAMABAD  -  The Supreme Court will announce today (Thursday) its judgment on a Contempt of Court (CoC) case initiated against Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader Daniyal Aziz on account of derogatory and contemptuous speeches against the top court.

The court on May 3 had reserved the judgment against the PML-N leader and former federal minister Daniyal Aziz in a contempt case on his anti-judiciary tirades. While reserving the judgment, the three-judge bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had observed that democracy was fascism without an independent judiciary.  

The same bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and comprised Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel will announce the judgment.

If not pardoned by the top court, Daniyal Aziz will become the second PML-N leader who would be convicted in the CoC following PML-N’s former Senator Nehal Hashmi. In case Daniyal Aziz, who was awarded ticket by PML-N to take part in the election from NA-77 Narowal-I, is convicted under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, he would also be disqualified to contest for the seat of Parliament.

In February, the top court had barred Hashmi from holding public office for the next five years along with imprisonment sentence to one month and a fine of Rs50,000 on account of delivering threatening and hate speech against judges. 

Aziz was issued notice on February 19 after he delivered anti-judiciary speeches on different forums, including Punjab House, accusing the judges of different standards while announcing judgments.  In the last hearing, Justice Saeed had made certain observations which apparently do not go into the favour of Aziz.  Justice Saeed had observed that freedom of expression had also limits, adding that contempt of court was not even allowed on the floor of the house, the Parliament.

He had also observed that there are number of countries where democracy prevailed but judiciary was not independent, adding that such countries were called fascist states.   According to the prosecution remarks against judiciary tantamount to attack on the country’s justice system and stigmatizing judiciary or its judges fall under the contempt of court which is intolerable.

Prosecutor in the previous case had contended that Aziz had termed dismissal of a case seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and disqualification of Jahangir Tareen as ‘scripted.’

The accused in his statement had also said that the monitoring judge of the Supreme Court orchestrated the corruption references against Nawaz Sharif and his family.  Prosecutor had argued that Aziz in his speech had said that it would be written in the history as to ‘who’ conveyed the issue of Capital FZE to Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the member of larger bench of Panama Papers Case and monitoring judge to supervise the references in accountability court. 

The prosecutor further told the court that Aziz eroded the court’s authority and did not disown his comments, adding that judiciary was the custodian of fundamental rights and its importance could never be ruled out.

He added that Aziz criticised judiciary with mala fide intentions in order to make judiciary controversial.