SC rejects PPP leader's apology for outburst against CJP

Published July 2, 2021
Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked Masoodur Rehman Abbasi who had told him that the chief justice was "sector in-charge of a political party" in a Supreme Court hearing on Friday. — APP/File
Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked Masoodur Rehman Abbasi who had told him that the chief justice was "sector in-charge of a political party" in a Supreme Court hearing on Friday. — APP/File

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday rejected PPP's Masoodur Rehman Abbasi's apology for his disrespectful outburst against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed.

The four-judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, said it would frame charges against Abbasi in the next hearing, a date for which would be fixed later.

The court also appointed the attorney general as the prosecutor in the case.

Abbasi, an office-bearer of the PPP’s Karachi chapter, is facing contempt of court charges for uttering derogatory remarks against the CJP at a public gathering. In a video and audio clip circulated on social media websites, the PPP leader could be seen making indecent and disrespectful remarks about the judiciary.

He was subsequently issued a contempt notice by the apex court on June 22.

During a hearing on Monday, Abbasi told the court he was not in his “senses” when he made the remarks. Consequently, he was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday and the next day was sent on a four-day remand with the agency until July 4.

In today's hearing, Abbasi said he was the sole earner for two wives and seven children and requested relief from the court. He said in a written apology that he respected all courts and that he was troubled due to his mother's death and some domestic squabbles.

"Due to my troubles I don't know what I uttered. Judges are like fathers for me," said the PPP leader as he pleaded forgiveness, adding that he was ready to apologise in whatever manner the court ordered.

To this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan recalled that in the video Abbasi had said if the court summoned him, he would "show the court its status".

"Now that you have been summoned, show us our status," Justice Ahsan said, telling Abbasi that he should have considered his circumstances before uttering "such big statements".

"What does the chief justice have to do with the atom bomb and missile [technology]? This way anyone can apologise after making insulting statements."

Justice Bandial asked Abbasi who had told him that the chief justice was "sector in-charge of a political party" to which the latter replied that no one had told him and he had said so himself.

The bench said that the FIA investigation would reveal the reason for his speech and told him to maintain his dignity, adding that the court would take a decision in accordance with the law.

An FIA official present in court told the bench that Abbasi was being interrogated and his remand had been obtained from a sessions court. "We will not take a soft approach towards whoever is behind Abbasi," he added.

The court said it would review similar cases of PML-N's Nehal Hashmi, Daniyal Aziz, Talal Chaudhry and others.

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