SC accepts Nehal Hashmi’s apology in contempt case | Pakistan Today

SC accepts Nehal Hashmi’s apology in contempt case

  • Hashmi apologises to CJP, ‘I will never say anything about you anywhere’ 
  • Representatives, leaders of bar associations plead top court to forgive Hashmi

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday accepted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nehal Hashmi’s written apology in a case pertaining to the former senator’s most recent inflammatory speech that he made after completing his one-month sentence for the contempt of court, while wrapping up the case.

After his release from the Adiala Jail, Hashmi had declared himself “a victim of revenge” while complaining that his appeal against the verdict in the contempt of court case was not heard even after his sentence had ended.

“This is the height of oppression,” he had said. “Who are you holding accountable? And who are you anyway? I stand by what I said [earlier],” he had said.

The presidents of Supreme Court Bar Association and Pakistan Bar Council appeared before the three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, after being summoned by the top court in the last hearing, to decide whether the lawyer’s license of Nehal Hashmi should be cancelled.

The representatives and leaders of bar associations pleaded the top court to show kindness and forgive Hashmi, a member of the bar and disqualified senator. At this, the bench ordered Hashmi to submit a written apology.

In his apology, Hashmi said he accepts what the bar leaders have said and asked for forgiveness and mercy from the court. “I will never say anything regarding you [chief justice] anywhere,” he assured the Supreme Court.

“I solemnly assure and undertake that I will not give any cause of complaint of any sort in future to the honourable courts in respect of my conduct,” Hashmi said in his written apology.

“I am ashamed of my behaviour,” Hashmi said before the court, requesting the bench to exercise forgiveness. “In the future, I will try to be careful even in the privacy of my home. I will make an effort to not utter words that offend others even inside my car.”

The former senator had earlier in the day attempted to verbally apologise for his remarks once again before the court, but Justice Nisar asked him to submit a written apology instead.

As proceedings began, lawyers’ leader Rasheed A Rizvi requested the court to briefly adjourn the hearing as several lawyers’ leaders are present and will consult and inform the court of their opinion on how to proceed with the case.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Pir Khurshid Kaleem was also present in court. On seeing him, the chief justice remarked, “you are the pir [spiritual leader] of your area and ours as well.”

The hearing was then adjourned until 1pm.

As proceedings resumed, the bar leaders asked the court to show magnanimity and termed Hashmi’s statements condemnable.

“We are thankful to the court for taking our input,” said the SCBA president, adding that if they cannot safeguard state institutions then it is their failure.

Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Kamran Murtaza, who withdrew his representation from defending Hashmi earlier, said had these words been used for someone else they still would not have defended them.

At the last hearing of the case, the court had replayed a video clip of Hashmi’s controversial remarks against the judiciary.

Hashmi had once again sought to apologise for his remarks. He had said he had not named the judiciary in his speech and only “repeated what the inmates [at Adiala Jail] used to say”.

In response to Hashmi’s plea for forgiveness, the chief justice had remarked, “how can you appeal for leniency,” adding that if he [chief justice] was in Hashmi’s place, he would have drowned in shame.

“How dare you abuse the apex court judges. We will not spare you,” the CJP had remarked. Chief Justice Nisar had said if Hashmi would use the same language for himself.

“If you say we should forgive him [Hashmi], we can do so conditionally,” Justice Nisar had told the lawyers.

The court directed the presidents of Supreme Court Bar Association and Pakistan Bar Council to appear before it on Tuesday to give their opinions.

Taking up its second contempt notice against Hashmi on March 12, a three-judge SC bench headed by Justice Nisar, dismissed his response as unsatisfactory and decided to indict him.

Talking to the media after the hearing, Hashmi had claimed that he never uttered any words against the judges and judiciary.

“That clip showed the language of inmates,” he had said. He had also asserted that it is his legal and constitutional right that the apology he tenders before the court is accepted, adding that “I shouldn’t be victimised politically”.

“I hope the court will think about my apology,” he had said.

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