LHC vacates contempt of court case against Ahsan Iqbal

The Lahore High Court on Monday discharged a contempt of court notice issued to former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal over an "anti-judiciary speech" made in April this year.

The court announced its decision after accepting the apology tendered by the minister, who had stated that he had complete regard for the courts and always bowed down before the law.

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who was heading the three-judge bench, informed Iqbal, who was present in the court, that another application had been submitted against him in the contempt case.

Justice Masood Jahangir observed that the respondent (Iqbal) was no longer a part of the government to which Justice Atir Mehmood added: "A new government is in power now [but] things can't change overnight."

Justice Naqvi observed that Iqbal's conduct during the proceedings of the case had been decent.

"You should be a role model for your people," remarked Justice Mehmood, while addressing the senior PML-N leader.

Justice Naqvi rhetorically questioned where those people were today who had resorted to verbal abuse.

"You should do whatever you can still do for this country's progress," the judge told Iqbal, adding that "politics of opposition should end now".

Expressing his gratitude for the court, Iqbal said he will be "more circumspect" with his words in the future.

A petition against the former minister was filed in the LHC after he made a speech in a seminar where he had criticised Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar for allegedly levelling baseless allegations against him, saying that the latter had “no right to name-call people”.

Iqbal was then referring to remarks made by Justice Nisar during a case in which the vice-chancellor of Lahore College for Women University, Prof Uzma Qureshi, was suspended. During the hearing, the chief justice had said that he knew Iqbal's role in Qureshi's appointment.

“You [Justice Nisar] must issue me a charge sheet. If you have evidence, produce it before me. But enough is enough," Iqbal had challenged at the time.



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