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December 14, 2018

Contempt of court case: Aamir Liaquat apologises to SC, Jang & Geo

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December 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday pardoned PTI MNA-elect from Karachi and former anchorperson of BOL TV Aamir Liaquat Hussain for using a derogatory language against the Jang Group and its journalists after accepting his unconditional apology.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar disposed of contempt petitions filed by the Independent Media Group and Jang and Geo Group against Aamir Liaquat.

The court disposed of the contempt petition of Jang Group after Aamir apologised to the court as well as the Jang and Geo Group Editor-in-ChiefMir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Mir Ibrahim and others. On November 7, the court had indicted Aamir for using a derogatory language against the Jang Group and its journalists after rejecting again his unconditional apology.

The court read out the charge sheet to Aamir Liaquat Hussain. Aamir however pleaded not guilty after which the court asked the deputy attorney general to submit evidence in the matter on the next date of hearing.

The petitioners had prayed the apex court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Aamir as the court had allowed him to continue his programme on the condition that he will abstain from using derogatory words against anyone but he violated the court orders.

The petitioners had contended that despite giving an affidavit to the apex court pledging not to air derogatory remarks in his programme “Aisa Nahin Chalay Ga”, he used a derogatory language against the Jang and Geo Group besides issuing decrees of traitors, terming Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Mir Ibrahim and anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada as the Indian agents. He had also subjected Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to hate speech involving religion.

On Thursday Aamir appeared before the court along with his counsel.

Addressing the contemnor, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, “Aamir Sahib its does not seem that you have any regrets about your act.”

Aamir however submitted that when the chief justice was on London tour, he had already submitted his unconditional apology in his chamber adding that he had also submitted apology in the chamber of other members of the bench.

“I tender my unconditional apology with most respect and honour and if I may repeat such a blunder in future, I would not be entitled to any pardon as well,” Aamir submitted before the court. The court then asked Faisal Siddiqui, counsel for Jang Group, about his stance to which the counsel informed the court that he had instructions from his clients to oppose the apology.

Justice Ijazul Ahsen, another member of the bench, observed that apology was either accepted or rejected but could not be opposed.

Aamir then submitted that his mother had taught him the lesson of respecting the court and its dignity adding that he was ready to make every effort for collecting donations for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

The chief justice observed that Aamir was a good speaker and asked him to tender an apology specifically to the Jang and Geo Group Chief Executive Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman and Mir Ibrahim.

Aamir informed the court that the names of his mother and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman were the same. “I tender an apology to Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Mir Ibrahim and all those who got hurt from my act,” Aamir submitted.

Meanwhile, the court disposed of the contempt petition filed by the Independent Media Group, Jang and Geo Group against Aamir Liaquat.

It is pertinent to mention here that on November 7, the court in its charge sheet had included excerpts from Aamir Liaquat’s program, stating that the statement of Aamir Liaquat made in CR M.A No 652/2017 tantamounts to disobeying, disregarding and flouting the order of the Supreme Court and his conduct tends to disrespect and ridicule the apex court and thereby, he obstructed, interfered and prejudiced the process of law and due course of proceedings of the apex court.

“You, therefore are guilty of committing the contempt of the Supreme Court within the meaning of Article 204 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, punishable under Section 5 of the said Ordinance and which offence is cognizable by this court”, the charge sheet stated.

“That you Mr Aamir Liaquat Hussain, in programme “Aisa Nahin Chalay Ga” aired on March 9, 2017 at BOL TV channel in violation of Order dated March 6, 2017, passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in CPLA No541/2017 stated as follows, it added.

“Neelay Peelay kay Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman ko bhi, Father of Bharat Ko bhi, Son of Bharat ko bhi, Unky tammam anchors ko bhi sub jo jalnay waly hain, Hasad karnay waly hain, sub ko yeh gaana dedicate kar raha hoon pyaar say. Gaana hamaisha pyaar say dedicate kiya jata hey. Aap muj say jaltay rahain.”

The charge sheet further read, “On March 7, 2017, you stated in the said program as under; “Pakistan is a great nation and its people even greater, Najam Sethi is a renegade who must die in shame.”

Aamir Liaquat Hussain however pleaded not guilty. The court then asked the deputy attorney general to provide a copy of the charge sheet to the counsel for Aamir.

The court also directed the DAG to produce evidence in the instant matter on the next date of hearing and adjourned further hearing until November 29.

The court also directed the PTI leader to present witnesses ? if any ? in his favour, in the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the court directed Aamir Liaquat Hussain to sign the charge sheet before leaving the court.

It is pertinent to mention that in Oct 30 hearing the court had declined an apology tendered by Aamir in a contempt case against him filed by the Independent Media Group, Jang and Geo Group for using a derogatory language.

The court had on August 18 held that a case of contempt had been established against the alleged contemnor Aamir Liaquat Hussain for using a derogatory language against the Jang Group and its journalists.

“There remains no doubt that a prima facie case of contempt has been established against the alleged contemnor Aamir Liaquat Hussain under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 17 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003” the court had ruled and issued a notice to the respondent/alleged contemnor Amir Liaquat Hussain under Article 204 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 read with Section 17 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003. He shall submit his reply within 15 day of the issuance of this order.

On previous hearing, counsel for Jang Group Faisal Siddiqui contended that the court had passed an order on March 6, 2017, in Civil Petition No. 541/2017, passing directions with regard to respondent NO. 1 (respondent) wherein it had ruled that without causing any prejudice to the authority of Pemra as per the provisions of Section 27 of the Ordinance of 2002 [PEMRA Ordinance 2002], it directed that Amir Liaquat Hussain shall not conduct or broadcast, re-broadcast or distribute any programme, which in any way whatsoever is against the ideology of Pakistan, or is likely to create hatred among the people or is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility or endangers national security or is pornographic, obscene or vulgar or is offensive to the commonly accepted standards of decency; and that he shall not engage in any practice or act which amounts to abuse of media power by way of harming the legitimate interests of another licensee or willfully causes damage to another person; and that he shall not perform any act or conduct himself in any manner that violates the Code of Conduct of Media Broadcasters or Cable TV Operators (the Code of Conduct).

The counsel however, contended that after the said order, Aamir again conducted programs against the Jang Group, violating the court orders. He said video clips were available with them.

The counsel for Aamir Liaquat played a video clip wherein Aamir was referring to an anchorperson of ZEE TV Sudhir Chaudhry, alleging him for taking extortion (bhatha) for running a statement.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the video clips so far shown portrayed that the alleged contemnor was terming Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as father of Bharat and Mir Ibrahim as son of Bharat.

The counsel for the alleged contemnor however said that Aamir was referring to an anchorperson of ZEE TV calling him son of Bharat but not to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

At this, the addressing the counsel the chief justice said they wanted to compare both the video clips. “We are also understanding and you too as well,” the CJP had told Aamir’s counsel adding that the body language spoke as well.

Meanwhile, the court had announced that the alleged contemnor will be indicted with direction to additional attorney general to prepare the draft of charge sheet and adjourned further hearing.

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