The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a contempt of court petition against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif filed by a leader of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's political party.
The petitioner, Sheikh Ahsanuddin, argued that Sharif committed contempt during his speeches at the GT Road rally in the immediate aftermath of his disqualification via the verdict in Panamagate case. "Nawaz Sharif crossed all limits [in his criticism]," the petitioner told the court.
The apex court's bench, however, appeared unmoved by the arguments. "Commenting cleanly on a [court] decision is the right of every citizen," Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar remarked.
The CJP also said that the accused may have "crossed the line" in some other comments but it did not appear to be during his speeches at the GT Road rally. "We have to take notice of contempt, not you," the CJP told the petitioner.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that judicial forgiveness should be exercised by the courts. He added that the court's limits for forgiveness are broader than those of the petitioner.
The PML-N had stepped up its criticism of the judiciary in the aftermath of Panamagate case, especially targeting the five-member bench that ousted Nawaz Sharif.
Party leader Nehal Hashmi, who has already served a month's sentence for a threatening and contemptuous speech, is also facing another contempt case being heard by the CJP himself.
Contempt cases against state ministers Tallal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz are also being heard by the apex court. Charges were framed against Aziz on Tuesday while Chaudhry is expected to be indicted tomorrow.
The SC on Tuesday had dismissed other contempt petitions against Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and his brother Shahbaz Sharif.