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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected the unconditional apology of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon in a contempt case related to the prolonged detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehryar Khan Afridi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.

A single bench of Justice Babar Sattar on Thursday heard the case, wherein, he had already indicted Memon, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP Operations) Jameel Zafar, SP Farooq Buttar, and Station House Officer (SHO) of Margalla Police Station Nasir Manzoor in the same case.

During the hearing, Raja Rizwan Abbasi appeared before the court representing Memon while Bushra Qamar advocate represented the SP and Qaisar Imam Chaudhary appeared before the bench as prosecutor.

Abbasi tendered an unconditional apology before the bench, saying that his client feels ashamed over it and seeks an apology from the court.

At this, Justice Sattar expressed his annoyance and rejected the apology. He remarked that the DC tried to approach him through family and friends. He asked whether the court should issue him another show-cause. Memon replied that he could say it on oath that he did not make efforts to approach him.

The judge told the DC that you are playing with fire and directed the prosecutor to prepare a schedule to take the case forward. He urged the DC to focus on his legal defence instead of tendering an apology for such conduct. Later, the bench deferred the hearing of the case till October 24 for further proceedings.

Previously, Justice Sattar started the contempt of court proceedings against the DC Islamabad and SSP Operations ICT with regard to abuse of authority in the issuance of detention orders against PTI leaders, Shehryar Khan Afridi and Shandana Gulzar.

During the hearing, DC Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon and SSP Operations Jameel Zafar submitted their written clarification of the case and extended an unconditional apology. Advocate General Ayaz Shaukat also opposed indicting the officials and prayed the bench not to indict them as the officers have extended an unconditional apology.

At this, Justice Sattar asked how we not indict them, the matter of contempt of court was underway here yet the DC issued another MPO order. Addressing the officials, he said that you would be sent to jail if you were convicted.

He remarked that it is a six-month sentence, wherein, you may also live in jail and see how those who you sent to jail live there. He also remarked that the court had fixed this date to frame the charges against the officers.

Then, the DC said that the purpose of his order was not to violate the court’s order at all and extended an unconditional apology to the court, which was rejected.

Later, the IHC bench read out the indictment order against the officers. However, the accused denied the charges against them. Justice Sattar said that the charge sheet had been read against the accused in an open court and now they could legally defend their case during the trial.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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