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Talal Chaudhary disqualified for five years

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court announced its verdict in the contempt of court case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Tallal Chaudry on Thursday, finding the former state interior minister guilty of violating Article 204 of the Constitution.

Chaudry, a former minister of state for interior, was ordered by the apex court to ensure his presence during today’s proceedings, which were based on a suo motu notice on his ‘anti-judiciary’ speech during a party rally in Jaranwala in January this year.

Chaudry appeared in court today along with his counsel Kamran Murtaza.

As Justice Gulzar Ahmad, who headed the three-member bench, read out the court’s verdict, Chaudry was sentenced ’till the rising of the court’ — a relatively lenient and symbolic punishment which remains until the court is in session — and fined Rs0.1 million.

Following the conviction, Chaudry, who lost the July 25 General Election from Faisalabad’s NA-102 constituency, will be disqualified from holding public office for five years.

Legal experts informed Geo News after the verdict that though the PML-N leader retains the right to file a review petition, in contempt cases it is very unlikely that a verdict is reversed.

Chaudry’s punishment lasted for a little over two hours as he remained confined inside Courtroom No. 3 since the bench continued hearing cases and even took a tea break in between.

His punishment was over once the bench concluded hearing cases.

Speaking to the media outside the court after the hearings concluded, Chaudry said, “I accept this result if it increases the court’s standing.”

He also vowed to file a review petition against the verdict.

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