Contempt notice against Altaf: Supreme Court's detailed order -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Contempt notice against Altaf: Supreme Court’s detailed order

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has released a detailed order in a contempt of court case against Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and asked him to personally appear before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the next hearing on January 7.

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali are the other members of the bench. The eight-page order released to the media on Sunday contains extracts from a controversial speech which the MQM chief had delivered on Dec 2. In his speech, Mr Hussain had not only criticised the judiciary, but also said that judges of the apex court should apologise for their remarks on delimitation of constituencies of Karachi or face the consequences.

In the wake of non-implementation of a directive by the court on the worsening law and order situation in Karachi, a Supreme Court bench had conducted a series of hearings in the city and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to initiate the process of delimitation of constituencies in the country’s largest city.

The MQM expressed serious reservations over the judgment and reacted harshly to the remarks of the court. The SC’s detailed order signed by all the three judges said the judgment “was conceded to as no review petition was filed against any of the directions” contained in it.

The order said: “…it seems that after passing above order, Altaf Hussain, leader of MQM, delivered a speech addressing to the general public/citizens of Karachi on telephone by availing facility of up-linking, normally provided by PTA, wherein uncalled for remarks and the demands were put forward.

“The script of the speech has been obtained from Pemra; a perusal of the same suggests that the derogatory remarks made by him are critical and also contemptuous in nature.

“Prima facie, contents of the speech of Altaf Hussain are tantamount to interference with and obstruction of the process of the court by advancing threats to the Honourable Judges of Supreme Court and these also tend to bring the judges into hatred, ridicule and contempt.

“On account of such assertions, the process of the court is also likely to be prejudiced, relating to implementation of the issues arising out of the directions of this court in the Watan Party case and subsequent orders dated 1.11.2012, 26.11.2012,
28.11.2012, etc, passed for the implementation of the directions issued in reported judgment, referred to hereinabove.

“In the light of above, notices under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan, read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, be issued to Altaf Hussain to appear in person and explain as to why he should not be proceeded against for contempt of court in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

“Notice be issued to him through the Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan, as he has made above assertions during a telephonic address from outside the country. The Secretary will ascertain his correct location and shall ensure service upon him, through representatives of the Foreign Office outside the country. Similarly, a notice be also issued to him c/o Dr Farooq Sattar, Deputy Convener, MQM, 494/8, Azizabad, Karachi.”