The contempt of court proceedings in the Supreme Court against former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nehal Hashmi were adjourned after a brief hearing on Monday.
A three-judge bench of the apex court — headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan — had served a contempt notice to Hashmi a day after he appeared in a controversial video, in which he allegedly threatened the Panama case’s Joint Investigation Team members and judiciary.
When asked regarding his reply to the contempt notice, Hashmi informed the bench that he cannot submit his reply as he does not have a transcript of his speech as yet, adding that the court, if it pleases, can play his video.
However, Justice Ijazul Ahsan disagreed and did not let the video be played in court.
Hashmi then informed the bench that as no lawyer is coming forward to take his case, he needs more time to finalise his counsel.
The bench agreed to Hashmi’s request and adjourned hearing till June 16.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, Hashmi thanked the Supreme Court for listening to his plea.
Referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, he said they [PTI] distorted my speech. “This is a criminal act as per the relevant laws,” he said, adding that [PTI Chairman] Imran Khan is the one who has committed contempt. He further claimed that his reply to the court will prove this.
The former PML-N leader also called himself a patriot. He also disclosed that he has asked the Supreme Court to perform Umrah.
While entering the court premises, answering a journalist’s question of whether he will want ask for forgiveness from the Supreme Court, Hashmi said he only seeks forgiveness from Allah.
On May 31, a video had surfaced of Hashmi’s speech to workers in which he threatened the prime minister’s unidentified ‘enemies’.
He had remarked, “You will not be spared; you are in service now but remember you will retire tomorrow.”
Later, the prime minister had suspended Hashmi’s party membership and directed him to tender his resignation from the Senate.
The controversy also moved the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar to take a suo motu notice of Hashmi’s outburst.
Speaking to the media outside the court at the last hearing, Hashmi had said “I ask Allah and and the Supreme Court for forgiveness.” He claimed that he was talking against a particular mindset and not the judiciary, adding that “I am the biggest defender of the supremacy of the judiciary.”
On June 3, the Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf also initiated action, asking the Sindh government to file a criminal case against Hashmi. Following this, a case was registered against the former PML-N Sindh secretary general at the Bahadurabad Police Station in Karachi.