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Supreme Court of Pakistan issues contempt notice to Altaf Hussain

Islamabad, December 14, 2012 (PPI-OT): A three member bench headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprising two other members Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the Criminal Mis. Application No. 765/2012 regarding derogatory language used by Altaf Hussain, Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement against the Judges of this Court and Suo Moto Case No. 16 of 2011 regarding law and order situation in Karachi and Criminal Original Petition No. 96/2012 (Senator Haji Adeel VS Raja Muhammad Abbas and others). Mr. Qasim Mirjatt, Additional Advocate General, Sindh and Mr. Zafar Ahmad Khan, Ad. P.G. Sindh, appeared on Court notice while Mr. Muhammad Zahoor Qureshi, AOR (in Crl. O.P. No. 96/2012) appeared on behalf of petitioner.

The brief background of this case is that this Court while disposing off Suo Moto Case 16/2011 regarding law and order situation in Karachi this Court on 13.9.2011 passed directions including the following:-

“Further observe that to avoid political polarization and to break the cycle of ethnic strife and turf war, boundaries Of administrative units like police stations, revenue estates, etc., ought to be altered so that the members of different communities may live together in peace and harmony, instead of allowing various groups to claim that particular areas belong to them and declaring certain areas as NO GO Areas under their fearful influence.

Subsequent thereto, on similar considerations, in view of relevant laws, delimitation of different constituencies has also to be undertaken with the same object and purpose, particularly to make Karachi, which is the hub of economic and commercial activities and also the face of Pakistan, a peaceful city in the near future. The Election Commission of Pakistan may also initiate the process on its own in this behalf.”

The above said order was not challenged by any of the parties and was conceded. Later on it was noticed that the directions of this Court passed in the above said case were not being implemented despite lapse of considerable period. Therefore, on different occasions, the case was heard to get the judgment implemented in letter and sprit. On 28.11.2012 a Bench of this Court issued direction to Election Commission for taking in hand the process of delimitation of the constituencies in Karachi city. Relevant para from the order is reproduced herein below:-

“In response to our earlier order dated 26.11.2012, Mr. Ishtiak Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan is present. When confronted with the observations of this Court regarding delimitation of different constituencies at Karachi, in line with the observations in the judgment in the case of Wattan Party (PLD 2011 S.C.997) at page 1131, and the stance earlier taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan through its director General (elections) Syed Sher Afgan, he candidly conceded that neither the Article 51(5) of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 nor section 7(2) of the Delimitation of Constituencies Act 1974 are hurdle in the compliance of such observations.

He assured that now the task of delimitation of different constituencies in Karachi has been taken up by the election Commission of Pakistan with the Government of Sindh, and, for this purpose, from today onward, he is going to hold three meetings with the concerned officials of the Government of Sindh, particularly, the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh to make substantial progress in this regard.

He further assured that compliance of observations regarding delimitation of constituencies will be done/completed in its letter and spirit within the shortest possible time, after following due procedure and taking on board all the stakeholders, and such comprehensive report will be submitted for the perusal of this Court. The Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh, who is also present in Court, has assured fullest cooperation to the election Commission of Pakistan for this purpose.”

The object of the above order was to get the judgment of this Court dated 13.9.2011 implemented in letter and spirit.

The office of the Registrar of this Court drew attention of Court towards the substance of speech delivered by Altaf Hussain, leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on 02.12.2012 addressing a large number of people wherein uncalled for expressions and aspersions were cast upon the Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court of Pakistan. Some of the remarks are reproduced verbatim as under:-

1. Enemy agents are using judges to ruin MQM. Regretfully, Supreme Court judges are also involved in ruining MQM.

2. I want to tell them this statement is on record. Former Army Chief Asif Nawaz Janjua’s statement is on record. See news papers published after June 19, 1992, in which he (Janjua) said that Altaf Hussain’s chapter is close now. Altaf says that Altaf’s chapter was opened by God, and God will close it. In his uniform, he(Janjua) tried to disguise himself as God, and is dead.

3. The remarks given by SC special judges bench hearing Karachi Law and order case that in order to maintain law and order in Karachi, constitutional boundaries should be re-drawn, so that one party do not dominate.

4. I must tell here that the judge who gave his judgement against MQM, and if he does not apologize, his name will not exist any more.

5. Karachi is a city of more than two crore inhabitants, where majority of people are educated and the remarks of the judge is abuse and insult for the people. The judge must remember that your dream to ruin mankind as a sitting judge will never be fulfilled. Remember that one who tried to ruin MQM is no more alive.

6. The remarks by judge of the special court tantamount to depriving people of adult franchise.

7. Judge, you must take back your words and apologise otherwise God will punish you.

8. Brother Itikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, CJP, remarks of your judge has harmed credibility of SC.

9. I want to tell the bias judge that people will not permit any one to usurp their democratic rights. The remarks by the judge are biased, and based on malafide intentions, and is violation of Article 25 of the Constitution.

10. Mr Chief Justice, are the remarks not against norms of oath taking of a judge?

11. I would state here that if such bias judges are in the judiciary, country’s judicial system will not improve nor law and order will improve.

12. Now the Courts and judges benches have become a joke in the country

The Court after going through the extract from the speech of Altaf Hussain, considered the same, tantamount to interference with and obstruction of the process of the Court by advancing threats to the Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court and it also tended to bring the Judges into hatred, ridicule and contempt.

The Court also observed that on account of such assertions, the process of the Court was also likely to be prejudiced, relating to implementation of the issues arising out of the directions of this Court in Watan Party’s 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.

The Court has directed for issuance of notices under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 to Altaf Husain 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 was also directed to be issued to him through Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan as he had made above assertions during a telephonic address from outside the country. The Secretary was directed to ascertain his correct location and ensure service of the notice upon him, through representatives of the Foreign Office outside the country. Similarly, a notice was also directed to be issued to Altaf Hussain c/o Dr. Farooq Sattar, Deputy Convener, MQM, 494/8, Azizabad, Karachi.

A Criminal Original Petition No. 96/2012 filed by Senator Haji Adeel, Senior Vice President, Awami National Party, against the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and IG Police, Sindh under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 read with Article 204 of the Constitution, wherein after having relied upon the directions made by this Court in the judgment, noted hereinabove, inter alia it has been mentioned that in Karachi lives and properties of the people have not been protected and no respite in loss of human life since been witnessed even after more than a year.

It was further stated that the Administration headed by Chief Secretary has failed to improve the situation and thus the directions of this Court have been wilfully ignored rather violated. With regard to observation of this Court to avoid political polarization and to break the cycle of ethnic strife and turf war, boundaries of administrative units, like police stations, revenue estates etc. are to be altered so that members of different communities may live together in peace and harmony, and to delimitation of different constituencies to make Karachi as a peaceful city, it was mentioned that the respondents have done nothing and the said observations have been violated flagrantly.

The respondents have not moved an inch with respect to the directions regarding arms and ammunition of prohibited and non-prohibited bores. No appropriate legislation has been made with regard to land grabbing, which amounts to contempt of court. It was also mentioned that the directions with regard to compensation to those who lost their lives and properties, deputing of independent and de-politicised investigating agency, creation of special joint cell by NADRA and IGP, and collection of record in respect of police officials and witnesses etc. who have been killed, have not been complied with. In this petition it has been prayed that the respondents be proceeded against under section 5 of the Contempt of the Court Act R/W Article 204 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and they may be tried for contempt of court and punished accordingly.

The Court after hearing Mr. Zahoor Qureshi, Learned Counsel, has ordered for issuing of notices under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, to the respondents to appear and explain as to why they should not be proceeded against for Contempt of Court in accordance with the Constitution and the law, for having been failed to implement the judgment in Watan Party’s case.

The Advocate General of the Province of Sindh was also directed to submit comprehensive compliance report in respect of the directions contained in Watan Party’s case and the orders passed thereafter by a Bench seeking implementation of the judgment, and if the judgment is not implemented in letter and spirit, he should pinpoint the person(s) individually and collectively responsible for the same. In the meanwhile the Provincial Government through its Chief Secretary should also furnish a statement as to why the killing in Karachi has again increased and what measures have been taken to ensure the safety and protection of the life and property of the citizens in Karachi. Detail of citizens, who were killed from 13.09.2011 to date, be also furnished. The case was adjourned to 07-01-2013.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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