An apology submitted to the Supreme Court for issuing derogatory remarks against the chief justice of Pakistan by PPP leader Masoodur Rehman Abbasi was turned down on Friday.
Abbasi, who is facing contempt of court charges, had appeared before a four-member bench of the apex court to answer for his outburst. A suo motu notice had been taken by the SC over the matter.
The PPP leader submitted a written apology to the top court, after Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who is heading the bench reviewing the case, asked Abbasi earlier this week to submit his response in writing. Bandial said that a verbal statement from the PPP leader would not help in deciding the case.
Abbasi made derogatory remarks in public against the judiciary last month over the removal of encroachments in Karachi as seen on videos that circulated on social media.
Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi wondered at whose behest the PPP leader uttered the words against the chief justice and asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to find out who had tasked him with this.
“Such a speech is not possible without a well thought out plan,” the judge said.
FIA officials present at the hearing said they are in the process of interrogating Abbasi and “would not spare” the people who had persuaded him to make such remarks.
‘Now then, show us our place’
The PPP leader said he was disturbed due to domestic conflicts and his mother’s demise, as he submitted his apology — which was rejected by the court.
Justice Bandial, questioning the petitioner, asked him whether anyone else had ever made such remarks, to which the PPP leader said people had claimed: “no chief justice had ever delivered such stern remarks”.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said: “You had claimed that you will remind us our place if the court calls you […] Now we have summoned you. Show us our place.”
“I am a poor man; I seek forgiveness from the court,” Abbasi responded.
‘Everyone will make remarks, then seek forgiveness’
Justice Ahsan asked how the PPP leader had called the chief justice “a sector in charge” — a common term for MQM’s office-bearers — and how he had accused the top judge of illicit earnings.
“I am the sole earner of my family; I have seven kids and two wives; I am willing to go down on my knees to beg for forgiveness,” he said, to which Justice Ahsan responded that he should have thought about this very fact before making such a speech.
“If this becomes a precedent, then everyone will make derogatory remarks and seek forgiveness,” the judge said.
Justice Bandial asked Abbasi at which event he had spoken, to which the PPP leader said had addressed an event to welcome the party’s new office bearers.
‘Begging out of the question’
“Because of how tense I was, I was not wholly aware of what I was said,” Abbasi said.
Justice Ahsan said that the PPP leader seemed to know well enough about the atom bomb and missile technology during his speech. “What relation does the chief justice have with missiles and atom bombs?”
The additional attorney general said the accused has admitted to the crimes, and there was no longer any need to collect evidence.
“I beg you for forgiveness,” Abbasi said one more, to which Justice Naqvi said “begging is out of the question”.
The Supreme Court, during the hearing, remarked that the cases of PML-N leaders Nehal Hashmi, Talal Chaudhry, and Daniyal Aziz would also be reviewed.
The Supreme Court said it would indict Abbasi in the next session, as it adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.