SC withdraws contempt notice against Nehal Hashmi after accepting apology

  • In the future, I will try to be careful even in the privacy of my home: Nehal Hashmi
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court accepted the written apology submitted by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’ firebrand leader Nehal Hashmi in a contempt case against his anti-judiciary remarks.

A three-member bench of the top court on Tuesday withdrew the contempt of court notice issued to the former senator over his speech targeting the judiciary, made hours after he was released from Adiala Jail following a one-month imprisonment for contempt of court.

Earlier in the day, Hashmi had attempted to verbally apologise for his remarks before the court, however, Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar asked him to submit a written apology.

“I am ashamed of my behaviour,” Hashmi had said before the court, requesting the apex court 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.” Hashmi added.

Accepting the apology, the CJP said that discharging contempt case against Hashmi was not a ‘license’ for others to utter unwarranted and disrespectful remarks against the judiciary.

“The court did not want Hashmi’s descendants to be punished for his actions,” remarked the CJP.

During yesterday’s hearing, the court had directed the presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) to appear before it today (Tuesday) and give their opinions on whether Hashmi’s licence should be revoked over his anti-judiciary statements or not.

SCBA President Kalim Khursheed informed the court today (Tuesday) that he had “no words that could explain the situation”.

Assured the SC that he would keep fighting for the court’s survival, Khursheed contended that what had happened was wrong, urging the court to forgive Hashmi.

The renowned lawyer also cited the example of Hazrat Ali (RA) who had forgiven his enemy after defeating him in war.

On the other hand, PBC Vice-Chairman Advocate Ahsan Bhoon expressed that no normal person could have issued such a statement.

“Only a confused or crazy person could have said the things that Hashmi said,” added the lawyer requesting that he believes the SC should forgive the former senator.

Moreover, Rasheed A. Rizvi, who advocated for Hashmi as well,  requested the court yesterday to forgive Hashmi prompting the court to accept the apology of former legislator.

Hashmi, a PML-N loyalist was facing contempt charges for the second time. He was earlier sent to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on similar charges on Feb 1, however, he received a second contempt notice from the top court, days after he fired a broadside at the superior judiciary.