LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday disposed of a contempt petition against Federal Ombudsperson against Harassment of Women at Workplace Yasmin Abbasi after she tendered an unconditional apology.

During the in-camera proceeding, Federal Ombudsperson Justice (r) Yasmeen Abbasi appeared before Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in his chamber and threw herself at the mercy of court and tendered unconditional apology.

The LHC had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Ms Abbasi over contempt of court. IG Islambad was ordered to produce her before the court.

On the other hand, the Federal Ombudsman office had issued show cause notice to Justice Shah terming his contempt notice as interference into the Ombudsperson proceedings.

All this happened during the hearing of a stay application filed by a lawyer against the proceedings of federal ombudsperson in a harassment complaint of a woman lawyer.

During Monday’s hearing, Ms Abbasi submitted a written apology and said that she regretted what happened on her part.

Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf and Inspector General Islamabad Tariq Masood were also present during the court proceeding. Pakistan Bar Council Member Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar and Lahore High Court Bar Association President Rana Zia Abdur Rehman also appeared in his chamber as amicus curies.

Justice Shah observed that all sub-constitutional courts/tribunals are subordinate to the constitutional courts. He also pointed out that power of contempt enjoyed by the Federal Ombudsman under the act is sub-constitutional power which cannot be exercised against the Constitutional courts.

The judge also observed that the higher courts always showed maximum restraint in such matters.

The judge accepted the unconditional apology of the Ombudsperson and discharged the contempt proceedings and her arrest warrants as well.

Justice Shah observed: “I hope such an incident will not happen again and the respondent will act in accordance with law and render highest respect to the Constitutional courts at all times.”