LAHORE  - The Lahore High Court on Monday deferred contempt of court proceedings against former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal , observing that the court would closely monitor his conduct in and outside the courtroom.

Ahsan Iqbal once again submitted written unconditional apology before the court and surrendered himself at the mercy of the court. The court will resume hearing of the case on September 5 after summer vacations.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi was hearing the petition against the former interior minister for his contemptuous statement against Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar during a speech on CPEC in Islamabad. Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir were the other members of the bench.

Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, the counsel for Ahsan iqbal , requested the bench to dispose of contempt proceedings against his client. But the bench rejected the plea, observing that he became ‘jiyala’ of a leader who had already started campaign of criticism against the judiciary.

“You are a political leader and you should show more tolerance than the common citizens,” the bench observed while addressing Ahsan Iqbal .

“PPP also faced more tough time than PML-N but they never criticised the judiciary,” one of the members of the bench remarked, adding that “It is your party that has launched tirade against the judiciary.”

LHCBA President Anwarul Haq Pannu and former president of the same bar Abid Saqi also appeared before the court.

“Your statement is different in the courtroom from the remarks you make outside the court,” Justice Atir Mahmood observed, adding that “for a long time, this impression is being given that particular party is being targeted.”

The bench made it clear that judiciary was not part of any political party or any agenda. Advocate Azhar Siddique, the petitioner’s counsel, said the bench will have to see the apology of Ahsan Iqbal in view of his conduct outside the court. He stated the former minister used to change his stance before court and media.

At this, the bench observed that they would resume hearing of the case after the summer vacations and put off further hearing till Sept 5. However, the bench made it clear that they would monitor conduct of Ahsan before taking any decision on his unconditional apology.

Taking up another case of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s petition against decision of an appellate tribunal about rejection of his nomination papers to contest election from NA-57, Murree and also disqualification, the bench adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (today).  The court will also take up today the petition of PTI’s spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry.

On previous hearing, the court had suspended decisions of appellate tribunals about fate of both candidates and allowed them to contest elections from their constituencies.