Court: SC issues contempt of court notice to MQM chief

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a contempt of court notice to Muttahida Qaumi Movement MQM chief Altaf Hussain over his recent telephonic address to his party workers in Karachi, in which he used derogatory language against the judiciary.

The court directed Altaf Hussain to appear before it in person on January 7 and explain as to why he should not be proceeded against for contempt of court in accordance with the constitution and the law. The court directed the Foreign Affairs Secretary to ascertain Altaf Hussain’s correct location and ensure service of the notice upon him, through representatives of the Foreign Office outside the country.

The court also issued notice to Dr Farooq Sattar, Deputy Convener, MQM. The court ordered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority PEMRA to submit record of Altaf Hussain’s telephonic address.

A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was hearing a case pertaining to implementation of its ruling given in the Karachi unrest case on September 13, 2011 , along with a criminal miscellaneous application pertaining to derogatory language used by Altaf Hussain against the top judiciary.

The court issued the contempt of court notice under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court law. During the hearing, the chief justice noted that the statement of MQM chief that the apex court judges should apologize over their remarks in Karachi unrest case, tantamount to create hurdles in the functions of judiciary.

“Does he want the judiciary not to perform its functions”, the chief justice questioned. He said derogatory and contemptuous language was used against the apex court and its honourable judges by the MQM leader in his December 2, 2012 speech. The court noted that its SC Registrar drew its attention towards the substance of speech delivered by Altaf Hussain to a large number of people wherein uncalled for expressions and aspersions were cast upon the honourable judges of Supreme Court.

The court in its short order stated that: “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 honourable 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 orders passed for the implementation of the directions issued in Karachi unrest case.

During his address over SC ruling on delimitation of new constituencies in Karachi, Altaf Hussain had called the court’s remarks unconstitutional and undemocratic , adding that the Supreme Court does not have the authority to say that constituencies should be formed in such a way that a single-party majority does not exist.