A three member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Ejaz Afzal Khan voiced displeasure on Friday over the absence of Senator Nehal Hashmi during hearing of contempt proceedings against him.
At the outset of proceedings, Hashmi’s counsel informed the court that his client has gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and thus could not appear before the bench.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said the contemnor should have informed the court of his intent to perform Umrah. Justice Ejaz also told Hashmi’s counsel that the bench was dissatisfied with their reply to the contempt notice.
In his order, the judge observed that Hashmi would be indicted at the next hearing on July 10.
At the last hearing on Tuesday, Hashmi submitted a 19-page reply through his lawyer, Hashmat Habib, telling the court that his speech was aired nonstop by the media, creating a hostile environment for him. Hashmi stated that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan highlighted the speech and presented the remarks made in it out of context.
Hashmi claimed the incident was a tactic by his political rivals, as he “cannot even imagine slandering the judiciary”.
While defending his stance on respecting the judiciary, Hashmi stated he “has been associated with the profession of law for the past 30 years and also stood by the judiciary during the 2007 lawyers’ movement.
Proceedings against Hashmi started after a video surfaced on the social media in which the Senator was seen threatening those probing the Sharif family in the Panama case, i.e. the judiciary.
He was the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sindh secretary-general when he made the speech.
Later, Hashmi was expelled from the party by the PML-N leadership and directed to resign from the Senate. However, he refused to comply with the resignation orders.