Cleric pleads with SC for pardon in Isa case

Updated 09 Jul 2020

Email

Top court has charged Rawalpindi-based cleric with contempt over his threatening and derogatory remarks regarding Justice Qazi Faez Isa and other judiciary members. — Dawn/File
Top court has charged Rawalpindi-based cleric with contempt over his threatening and derogatory remarks regarding Justice Qazi Faez Isa and other judiciary members. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Rawal­pindi-based cleric Mirza Iftikharuddin on Wednes­day requested the Supreme Court to accept his apology and acquit him from the charges of contempt over his derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary.

“It is most humbly request-ed that his apology may be accepted and he may be exonerated/acquitted from the charge of contemptuous remarks,” said a three-page apology letter submitted by the cleric’s counsel Advocate Mrs Sarkar Abbas to the Supreme Court. The accused assured the court through an understanding that he would never repeat such an act in future.

At the last hearing on July 2, a two-judge SC bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan had framed a formal contempt charge against the cleric for his derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary, which went viral on social media.

The court indicted the cleric under Section 5 of the Contempt of the Court Ordinance 2003 after rejecting his unconditional apology he tendered for making an objectionable speech in a private meeting in which he had hurled abusive language at Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court as well as the institution of judiciary.

On the basis of the video clip, the wife of Justice Isa had lodged a complaint with the Secretariat police station in Islamabad on June 24, saying the life of her family was in danger as they were receiving threats of dire consequences.

In his apology, Mirza Iftikhar said he was 67 years of age and a chronic cardiac patient with blockage of main arteries. Doctors had advised him an open-heart surgery, he said, adding that he was also suffering from hypotension and other similar diseases.

“He is under regular medication, which sometimes badly affects his mental health, resultantly sometimes makes him hyper, irrational, irritating and frustrating,” the apology letter stated. “The alleged contemnor tenders sincere apology, seeks mercy of the court with all the hopes that while deciding the case, the court may consider the mitigating circumstances relating to his health and age,” it added.

The letter explained that it was a routine affair that Mirza Iftikhar discussed current affairs with a few of his students after Maghrib prayers and during a discussion on June 14 some remarks slipped out of his tongue regarding the judges and the prestigious institution of the judiciary for which he had a lot of regrets.

As soon as he realised his mistake, he approached the Supreme Court on June 26 to tender his apology, but he was not allowed to enter the courtroom though he had been issued the entry card, the letter said. On June 29, he himself joined the investigation wherein he was detained and an FIR was registered against him, it added.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020