A PPP leader accused of insulting the chief justice, has said that he was not in his senses while he made the derogatory remarks against Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
Masoodur Rehman Abbasi, a PPP office-bearer from Karachi’s PS-114 constituency, appeared before a four-member bench of the apex court to answer for his outburst against Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed Tuesday. The court had ordered police to present Abbasi and answer for his profane remarks.
A video, earlier this month, went viral on social media in which Abbasi can be seen and heard making derogatory remarks about the chief justice.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who is heading the bench, asked the accused to submit his response in writing, adding that a verbal statement from him would not help in deciding the case.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan inquired whether Abbasi was in his sense when he spoke derogatory words for the chief justice.
“No sir, I was not in my senses,” Abbasi responded. Justice Bandial, however, asked the accuse to consult his counsel and then submit a reply in writing.
FIA submitted an interim report regarding the case, saying that Abbasi’s audio and video clip are both genuine and unedited.
The court asked the accused whether he was confident that the video, in which he can be seen abusing the chief justice, was not tampered with. In response, Abbasi admitted his mistake and said he respected the judiciary.
The accused told the court that he felt dejected as his party had suspended his basic membership and “has deserted me”.
Justice Bandia explained to Abbasi that the court intended to wrap proceedings of the case as soon as possible.
However, he also said that the court will decide whether or not to appoint a prosecutor to gather evidence against the accused.
In response to an inquiry from the bench, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said it would remove the controversial clip from social media only after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) completed its inquiry.
PTA’s Director General (Law) Sajjad Awan told the court that removing the clip from social media may adversely impact the progress of the investigation.
The bench instructed the PTA to coordinate with the FIA to have the clip removed, noting that the Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had informed the court that the speech was not aired on electronic media.
Justice Aijaz-ul-Ahsan asked the additional attorney-general to present the evidence he had gathered so far from the inquiry in court “ in legal form”.
The Supreme Court asked the attorney general to assist the authorities in collecting legal material, before suspending proceedings of the case till Friday.