ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued another contempt notice to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nehal Hashmi for hurling verbal abuses and being uncivil towards the judiciary.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, also indicated that Hashmi’s law practice licence could be cancelled.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court summoned Hashmi after a video of him surfaced in which he was seen using abusive language against the judges after his release from jail. Hashmi served a month-long jail sentence over contempt of court.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the video was played in the courtroom. Hashmi, a former senator, first regretted and then apologised to the court.
“I was stressed out and felt disoriented. I never uttered those words for the judges. I am ashamed [of my behaviour],” he told the bench.
Unconvinced, the chief justice rejected Hashmi’s apology. He said it was “evident just how” ashamed the politician was.
“It has become everybody’s habit to make such comments and then apologise,” remarked Justice Ejazul Ahsan. “First you had said you were fasting, and now you are saying you were mentally upset.”
When a proposition was made to suspend his licence to practice law, Hashmi said the legal practice was his only profession and if his licence was cancelled, he would not be able to support his family.
The CJP said: “The people on whose behalf you abuse us will make arrangements.”
The bench sought input from bar councils representatives whether or not Hashmi’s licence to practise law should be cancelled. The bench summoned vice chairmen of all provincial bar councils to assist the court to determine if such a person can work as lawyer.
At the outset of the hearing, Hashmi’s counsel Kamran Murtaza recused from pleading the case. The CJP observed the judges had shown restraint but they had been compelled to take such measures in the last two months.
“Bring a good lawyer to contest your case”, the CJ asked Hashmi. The matter will be taken up on March 12.
Meanwhile, the same bench dropped contempt proceedings against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Taj Haider.
During the hearing, the chief justice observed that they always welcomed fair criticism. “Criticism of judgments is good to make them more accurate, but is it fair to abuse judges?” he said.
Likewise, the bench rejected senior anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood’s apology for not proving his claims of the involvement of an international child pornography ring in the rape and murder of Kasur’s minor girl, Zainab.
“The time for apology is over,” the court noted, and directed Masood to submit his reply to an inquiry report till March 10.
The bench also issued notice to the private TV channel where Masood is currently employed.
Meanwhile, the same bench heard that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will register a case against former ambassador Hussain Haqqani in the next couple of days. The bench asked the government to apprise it of the steps being taken to bring him back, after 15 days.