LAHORE : On Monday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) delayed its decision on a petition seeking contempt proceedings against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for allegedly embarrassing the court via an audio leak involving former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his counsel.

After hearing arguments from petitioner Shahid Rana, who claimed that the minister violated the privacy of a lawyer and his client by releasing the recording, LHC Judge Abid Aziz Shaikh reserved the decision. He said that he should face contempt charges for “ridiculing” the court and adopting unlawful actions.

During the hearing, the judge said that the Supreme Court was also looking into the situation and asked whether the audio had been forensically examined. When the petitioner claimed that the interior minister had sought to slander the court, Judge Shaikh said, “Now you don’t need to worry. We’ll manage it”.

At a news conference on February 16, Mr Sanaullah played an audio cassette of an alleged discussion between Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his lawyer, Supreme Court Bar Association President Abid Shahid Zuberi. The minister alleged that the previous chief minister intended to schedule a case before his favourite judge in order to get a favourable outcome.

He further requested that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Umar Ata Bandial, take note of the claimed audio of former Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi. He also sought a forensic examination of the supposedly leaked audio recording of the former CM. “If the former Punjab CM is found guilty after the forensic, then the case should be put before the judicial committee,” he added.

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