The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PNL-N) firebrand leader and former federal minister for privatisation Daniyal Aziz ’till rising of the court’ for committing contempt of court. The sentence ’till rising of the court’ in a contempt case does mean the contemnor avoids jail and is punished symbolically until the bench remains in session. The verdict in the case reserved earlier on May 3, 2018, was announced by a three-member bench comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel. The sentence in a contempt case also leads to automatic disqualification from parliament for five years, thus Daniyal Aziz will be unable to contest the upcoming general elections. In its verdict, the court ruled that Daniyal Aziz had attempted to malign the court in his media talks and spread hatred in light of Section 2 (b) of Article 204 of the constitution. The court also ruled that it deliberately showed leniency and did not send Daniyal Aziz to jail for six months under the contempt law. As per the judgment, Daniyal stayed in the court till the bench was in session. The verdict noted that the PML-N leader is guilty of interference and prejudice against the process of law. He was convicted in two charges of contempt and acquitted in one. The court had issued a show-cause notice to Daniyal Aziz on February 19, after a contempt of court notice was sent to him on February 2 over his controversial speeches and statements made during television shows. He was indicted on contempt charges on March 13. The court had reserved its decision in the case on May 3 after both sides had completed their arguments. Daniyal Aziz had vehemently been defending former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family in the media during and after the Panama Papers case last year. On last hearing of the case on May 3, additional attorney general Rana Waqar, who was a prosecutor in the case, had argued that Daniyal’s remarks were an attack on the system of justice. He had stated that acquittal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and disqualification of Jahangir Tareen by the apex court was termed ‘scripted’ by Daniyal. Daniyal was awarded a PML-N ticket to contest the July 25 general election from NA-77, Narowal-I. Speaking to media after the verdict, Aziz denied ever saying the words for which he was held in contempt. “I never said the words that were written in the newspaper and for which I was held in contempt,” he claimed. Daniyal said his father has already submitted his nomination papers and he will contest the July 25 election from his constituency. He said he will decide the next legal course of action after receiving a copy of the detailed verdict. Published in Daily Times, June 29th 2018.