Think ten times before you say anything against Pakistani courts or judges, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court remarked while hearing a contempt case against a government official.
“One should think ten times before uttering derogatory remarks against courts and judges,” Bandial said during the proceedings. He turned down an unconditional apology offered by Joint Secretary Sher Ali of the Religious Affairs Ministry in contempt of court proceedings initiated against him.
The Chief Justice initiated the proceedings against Ali after he criticised the High Court’s directions to the Religious Affairs Ministry in response to several petitions challenging the allocation of Haj quotas among private tour operators. The court had issued a show-cause notice to Ali on July 4. In a related development, Bandial issued notices to the Religious Affairs Ministry in response to several petitions challenging the Haj Policy 2012. Private tour operators filed these petitions. The lower house of parliament yesterday approved a bill aimed at protecting top officials from contempt of court proceedings.