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SC reserves verdict in suo motu case over ex-CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry’s manhandling

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court reserved on Tuesday its decision in a case related to the manhandling of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

The Islamabad district administration and police on March 13, 2007, had roughed up then-CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when he refused to ride an official car and attempted to march towards the Supreme Court to attend the proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council.

A five-member bench headed by acting chief justice Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the suo motu contempt case against senior police and administration officials today.

As the hearing went under way, former Islamabad inspector general of police Chaudhry Iftikhar’s counsel, Khalid Ranjha, informed the court that his client has submitted an unconditional apology in court and left himself at the mercy of the court.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed wondered whether the court is bound to dismiss a contempt notice on the basis of an apology. Ranjha responded that the basis of his defence is an apology and he has no other strategy.

Justice Ahmed remarked that the manhandling of the chief justice was witnessed across the globe.

Ranjha again pleaded that his client has been seeking pardon at every hearing of the case.

However, Justice Khosa observed that if one side is favoured then the other is discriminated against.

Questioning the apology submitted in court, Justice Khosa questioned how it can be assumed that it is based on facts, adding that the court is yet to figure out why this treatment was meted out to a chief justice.

Justice Khosa stated further that those who gave the orders for the chief justice’s roughing up are yet to be identified.

Former chief commissioner Khalid Pervez’s counsel, Sardar Aslam, asked the court to keep in mind its order in the Nehal Hashmi contempt case and do the same with his client.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked that Hashmi was jailed for his offence and asked if the counsel is ready to accept that sentence for his client.

Earlier this year, the top court had disqualified and jailed senator Hashmi for contempt but later pardoned him after taking another notice of his post-jail ‘contemptuous’ remarks.

During today’s hearing, the deputy attorney general informed the court that it is up to the bench to punish or acquit the accused.

After reserving the verdict, the court ordered all the accused to be present in court when the order is read out.

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