Court: SC discharges contempt notice against MQM chief after accepting his unconditional apology

ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench on Monday discharged a show cause notice issued to Muttahida Qaumi Movement MQM chief Altaf Hussain over his contemptuous speech, after his counsel submitted a written unconditional apology over certain contents of his speech made on December 12, 2012.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed accepted the written apology submitted by Dr Farogh Nasim, counsel for Altaf Hussain, stating that he Altaf Hussain believed in dignity and respect of the superior judiciary and with his bona fide, he tendered his unconditional apology.

On December 12, 2012, MQM chief had delivered a speech, carrying some contemptuous contents, to his party workers after a Supreme Court bench had passed an order over a law and order situation in Karachi. At the onset of hearing, Dr Farogh Nasim, also a MQM Senator, told the court that MQM chief withdrew all the adverse remarks he made against judiciary and showed his commitment to hold the judiciary in high esteem and dignity. He said “Altaf Hussain throws himself at the mercy of the court and prays that the notice be discharged and his unconditional apology be accepted.”

“Since Altaf Hussain has not contested the contempt notice and thrown himself at the mercy of the court by seeking unconditional apology, thus we accept his apology and discharge the contempt notice”, the court said in its order. “It is a good gesture and we appreciated it, the Chief Justice noted, adding that he has respected the court, thus we also respect him”.

The court also noted that “Since he had showed respect, honour and dignity for the apex court’s judges and made commitment for future to hold the judges in dignity and high esteem, thus keeping in view his unconditional apology and commitment for holding the dignity of the apex court’s judges, the notice is hereby discharged”, the court noted.

During the hearing, the court also drew attention of Dr Farogh Nasim towards a statement of Dr Farooq Sattar, in which he had used some contemptuous words. Dr Farogh Nasim however submitted unconditional apology and requested the court not to take any action against him. He assured the court that such words will not be repeated in future. Dr Farooq Sattar apprised the court that in his statement he had not referred to the judiciary, however even then he apologized.

Meanwhile, the court inquired Rauf Siddiqui, a MPA of MQM, who was present in the courtroom, that how he had addressed a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan over the issue. “You are not a greater leader than Altaf Hussain”, the Chief Justice asked him. Dr Farogh Nasim assured the court that he and the MQM leadership would continue to strive for the rule of law and independence of judiciary.