Home Latest News Contempt Case: Kamal Seeks Apology, Vawda Defends ‘Fair’ Criticism

Contempt Case: Kamal Seeks Apology, Vawda Defends ‘Fair’ Criticism

Both lawmakers maintain they respect the judiciary, with Senator Vawda urging Supreme Court to withdraw contempt of court case against him

by Staff Report

From left: MQMP leader Mustafa Kamal; Senator Faisal Vawda

As MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal sought an ‘unconditional’ apology in a contempt of court case before the Supreme Court, Senator Faisal Vawda on Tuesday refused to issue the same, saying other people had issued similar remarks and faced no repercussions.

Both Kamal and Vawda addressed separate press conferences last month in which they criticized the superior judiciary, slamming them for alleged hypocrisy. Subsequently, a Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa initiated contempt proceedings against Vawda and also issued notice to Kamal over their comments.

In an affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry, Kamal sought an unconditional apology for his remarks against the judiciary. Stressing he held “all the judges, in particular, the judges of the superior courts of Pakistan in the highest respect and esteem,” he said he could not even imagine bringing the reputation or authority of the court or its judges into disrepute.

“I hereby tender an unconditional and unqualified apology with regard to any of my utterances, in particular my press conference dated May 16, 2024, throwing myself at the mercy of this court, seeking its clemency, pardon, forgiveness and discharge of the notice/proceedings of contempt of court initiated against me,” he added.

Vawda, meanwhile, asked the court to exercise restraint in the contempt proceedings initiated against him for his May 15 press conference. Requesting the apex court to withdraw the contempt of court case, he said his commentary was aimed at securing the country’s wellbeing, not maligning judges.

The statements come a day before the next hearing of the contempt case—June 5. In his response, Vawda also submitted transcripts of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Jamiat Ulema e Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Raoof Hasan’s speeches wherein they had also criticized the judiciary.

Pointing to Hasan, he accused the PTI leader of threatening judges and the judiciary, as well as calling a judge a “tout.” Similarly, he said the prime minister had described some judges as “black sheep” while Fazl threatened judges in a speech outside the top court’s building.

Claiming he had every respect and regard for the judiciary and could never imagine doing any act which lowered the estimation of the judiciary in any manner, the senator said highlighting “judgements of the courts deemed to have had a negative impact on the lives of the citizens of Pakistan” did not qualify as contempt. He claimed he had only highlighted judgments that caused problems for the people with bona fide intentions and felt that it was a fair criticism.

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