ISLAMABAD : The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced Senator Nehal Hashmi to one-month imprisonment and barred him from holding public office for the next five years as it announced its verdict in the contempt of court case against the former PML-N stalwart.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Dost Mohammad, also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 on the senator.
Further, the bench dismissed an unconditional apology, which Hashmi had submitted to the court on January 24 for his threatening video message against “those investigating” former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.
While Justice Khosa and Justice Baqar are in agreement over the punishment announced against Hashmi, Justice Dost Mohammad has written a dissenting note in the case that is expected to be made available later in the day.
Following the order, Hashmi was taken into custody by police officials present in court and shifted to the Secretariat Police Station from where he’ll be taken to Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.
Senior lawyer Farogh Naseem said after the verdict that Hashmi retains the right to appeal the decision before a larger bench.
Meanwhile, former attorney general Irfan Qadir said it is an “unusual decision”. He added that “nothing is automatic”, when asked if Hashmi is now a disqualified parliamentarian.
State Interior Minister Tallal Chauhdry regretted the decision. In a TV interview he questioned if others who committed contempt will be brought to book or is the PML-N the only target. “You cannot force respect through fear,” he added.
Reacting over the court’s verdict, Chief of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rashid said that the sentence given to Nehal Hashmi is less as compared to his crime. The assembly members are adopting new fashion of insulting courts, he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry termed the decision as appropriate, saying that this verdict will be an example for Nawaz’s son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar who is continuously abusing judiciary.
On May 28, Hashmi triggered a political storm by threatening the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) and Supreme Court judges of “dire consequences” after their retirement for probing Sharif family in connection with Panama Papers case.
Orignally published by INP