ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday indicted prayer leader Maulvi Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza for contempt of court for using derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous language against the judges in a video that went viral last month, giving him a week to respond in the case.
A hearing was held by a bench at the Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed during which Mirza unconditionally apologised to the court, saying that he was ashamed of his remarks. "I ask forgiveness from you as a Muslim," he said. "I apologise for my statements in the video."
Mirza said that he had no knowledge of the editing and uploading of the video. The chief justice, in return, expressed anger at the derogatory language used in the video.
"This is not a case of forgiveness. You cannot mock the judiciary, in this way, Pakistan's entire system will fail," he remarked. "You were using such [derogatory] language from the Minbar of a mosque, the kind that even an illiterate person wouldn't use," he added.
The bench said that it was not satisfied with the written responses submitted by Mirza in previous hearings of the case either.
CJP takes notice of threats to Justice Isa in viral video
Last month, Justice Gulzar Ahmed took notice of a video clip containing derogatory and scandalous language against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
The video contained derogatory, contemptuous and scandalous language against the institution of the judiciary and the honourable judges, read a statement from the apex court.
On July 2, during a hearing of the case, Mirza’s lawyer told the court that his client has apologised unconditionally for using the derogatory language.
“The words which were used, can they be used (against judiciary)? How can we accept an apology in such a case?” Justice Ahsan had remarked.
Justice Ahsan had further said that according to the attorney general, the case of terrorism and criminal charges can be included against Mirza, adding that there is no point in submitting a written apology.
During the case’s proceedings, the chief justice had told Mirza's lawyer that his client should be sent to jail for six months. “You (lawyer) seem to be unaware of the seriousness of the case, you are taking it too lightly," he had said.
To which, the lawyer had argued that his client is a heart patient and the court should take this into consideration.
“So what can we do? He (Mirza) should have kept his tongue in check, in this case there is nothing that can be done regarding mercy,” the chief justice had remarked.