ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed appeals of officials of Capital’s administration and police involved in manhandling the former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary in 2007 at the Constitutional Avenue, Islamabad.

IGP Islamabad Iftikhar Ahmed, then Chief Commissioner Khalid Parvez, then Deputy Commissioner Chaudhary Muhammad Ali, then Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jameel Hashmi, then Inspector Rukhsar Mehdi and then SI Siraj Ahmed were involved in manhandling the former chief justice on March 13, 2007, when he had refused to sit in an official car and insisted to march towards the Supreme Court building to attend the proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

“Such being the case, we find no merit in these appeals which are dismissed. The appellants are in attendance, they, other than those sentenced imprisonment till rising of this court, are to be taken into custody and to be lodged in central prison, Rawalpindi, to serve out their respective sentences,” the top court ruled in its written order.

On May 15, a five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had reserved the judgment on the appeals.

The 15-page judgment authored by Justice Gulzar Ahmed observed that looking at the grave nature of contempt of court having been committed by the appellants, in our estimation, by the impugn order passed in suo motu proceeding they had been dealt with quite leniently.

The appellants had physically roughed up, manhandled, pushed, bundled and physically forced the chief justice of Pakistan, the head of the highest judicial forum of the country, to sit in a car, the verdict stated.

“This itself is a serious and grievous nature of contempt of court by which the holder of highest judicial office of the country was dealt with, handled, restrained physically in the eyes of the public and also in the presence of print and electronic media could not, by any means, be considered as a minor incident which could be let off by submission of unconditional apology rather such conduct while requiring serious attention required visitation by exemplary punishments for the conduct of the appellants as it had jolted and rattled the very edifice of the judicature, as provided in the Constitution, and seriously undermined and brought the authority of the court or administration of justice into disrespect, disrepute or interfere with or obstruct or interrupt of prejudice the process of law and due course of any judicial proceedings,” the judgment observed.

“In the first place, the appellants did not submit their unconditional apology at the earliest stage of contempt proceedings rather they all deferred the submission of unconditional apology till the charge was framed against them when it became clear to all appellants that the court was taking the matter seriously and apprehension occurred to them that they might be held guilty for commission of contempt of court,” the verdict noted.

“Thus, all unconditional apologies submitted by all the appellants are neither the one which could be considered to have been submitted at the earliest stage of contempt proceedings nor such unconditional apologies, as submitted by the appellants, appear unconditional, unreserved or unqualified nor shown sincere and genuine remorse rather they appear to be half-hearted merely to fill up formality and further in their unconditional apologies, the appellants have even tried to justify their conduct which had become cause of their conduct,” it added.

“Obviously, such apology did not satisfy the requirement of law and the appellants could not seek their discharge for that in the very unconditional apology all the appellants had categorically admitted their conduct against the Chief Justice of Pakistan on 13.03.2007.”

“The best which the appellants could have done was that on the very first day when the contempt proceedings were taken up, they should have filed unconditional, unreserved and unqualified apology showing their sincere and genuine remorse and thrown themselves at the mercy of the court but as the fact of the case show that such did not happen.”