Television personality and lawmaker Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s unconditional apology in a contempt case was accepted by the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday and the case registered against him was dismissed, according to media reports.
Liaquat was accused of violating earlier undertakings regarding not to use hate speech or derogatory language against individuals, including media persons. The case was concluded by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar after Liaquat placed himself at the mercy of the court.
When Liaquat appeared before the court on Thursday, he informed the court that his lawyer was not present. The chief justice, however, remained adamant on hearing the case on Thursday and asked him to call his lawyer. The hearing resumed after a break.
On November 7, the apex court rejected Liaquat’s unconditional apology and indicted him under Article 204 of the Constitution.
The apex court was seized with a set of petitions moved by anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada, Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, Mir Ibrahimur Rehman and Najam Aziz Sethi that accused Liaquat of flouting the March 28, 2017, order restraining him from carrying out defamatory campaigns and conducting television shows in an unethical manner.
The objectionable content in question was aired on the Bol TV programme “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga” on March 9 last year.
Earlier, the SC had also imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on Liaquat for his absence when the case was taken up and directed that the amount of the fine be deposited in the account of the SC-created Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams fund.
The charges stated that the parliamentarian was found guilty of committing the contempt of the court within the meaning of Article 204 of the Constitution, read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, punishable under Section 5 of the ordinance whose offence was cognizable by the apex court.
The petitioners, represented by senior counsel Faisal Siddiqui, earlier contended that 13 orders had been passed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and even bans had been slapped on Liaquat on a number of times, but all in vain, adding that he should be dealt with sternly for the breach of his earlier undertakings.
They had requested the apex court to initiate contempt of court proceedings under Article 204 of the Constitution and under provisions of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003.