SC adjourns contempt hearing against Jang Group
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday directed Editor-in-Chief Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to tender an unconditional apology in a contempt case and adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday).
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar resumed hearing into a contempt petition, filed by former deputy attorney general Asad Rajput against the Jang Group editor-in-chief. Saim Hashmi, counsel for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman appeared before the court and submitted that they have submitted a written reply in the instant contempt petition.
Editor-in-Chief Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman also appeared before the court and submitted that he always respects the dignity of judiciary and even never thinks about ridiculing it. Chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman that the judiciary gave a lot of respect to him but he had used the word nonsense (baihuda) for a judge of the apex court.
Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, however, contended that he had been quoted out of context in the petition, adding: “I can never even think of ridiculing the judiciary.” Meanwhile, the court played a video clip, aired by ARY television channel showing the media talk of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, however, submitted that he too has whole record of the said media talk of that day. He recalled that a reporter of BOL news had asked him a question pertaining to Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh’s remarks to which he replied that he did not hear such remarks during the proceedings, adding that he still believes that the honorable judge could not have passed such remarks. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman further submitted that he did not hear the said remarks of the judge, adding that during the course of hearing he had explained to the court on the matter related to government advertisements. “Had I heard the said remarks of the honorable judge, I could have also explained it to the court. But I did not hear those remarks of the honorable judge”, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman added.
Justice Faisal Arab, another member of the bench, observed that his media talk gave an impression that he (Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman) was going to file a case against the honorable judge. “You should have told the said reporter that you did not hear such remarks of the honorable judge hence you are talking baihuda baat,” Justice Faisal Arab told Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. “If this impression went than I excuse for it,” Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman replied.
Chief Justice however, observed that being a head of Pakistan’s largest media group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should respect the court. “You conduct programmes through your anchors at night time ridiculing the judges in talk shows and this could not be possible without your prior permission,” the CJP told the Jang Group chief executive. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, however, said that his Groups journalists and anchorpersons are free, adding that he neither he gives them any instructions nor they are under his command. he said that he has a limited role that whenever he receives any complaint then he inquires the matter. He further contended he excuses if the honorable judge got hurt due to his talk, adding that neither did he use such types of words nor have they been brought up in such a manner. “I regret as to why I used such words”, Mir Shakil ur Rahman submitted. He recalled that the reporter while quoting the said honorable judge had leveled a wrong allegation that he (Mir Shakil) along with his relative crashed the stock exchange and minted money.
Elaborating it, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman further said that during those days some media was doing negative propaganda against him, and the reporter questioned about the same negative report quoting the honourable judge. As the reporter was insisting, so he uttered such words, adding that he should not have used such words for the honourable judge or even for any other person. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman further submitted that earlier the court had summoned him and after running the said video clip had disposed of the matter. Chief Justice however, observed that a fresh contempt petition was filed in the court against him hence he was duty bound to protect the dignity of judiciary. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman however, contended that he always respects judiciary.
During the course of hearing, petitioner Asad Rajput explained to the court, meaning of word baihuda in English from dictionary saying it means nonsense, foolish, stupid and insane. Meanwhile, the court declined to accept the reply of Mir Shakil ur Rahman and directed him to tender unconditional apology before it today (Thursday). Chief Justice in his order noted that after this the court will examine as to whether the instant matter be disposed of or to frame charge. Later, the court adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday).