Altaf Hussain Contempt of Court Case Dated 14-12-12


(Original Jurisdiction)


Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, HCJ.

Mr. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja

Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali
Criminal Misc. Application No.765/2012

(Notice in the matter of derogatory language used by Altaf Hussain, Leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement against the Judges of this Court)


Suo Moto Case No.16 of 2011

(Law & Order Situation in Karachi)


Criminal Original Petition NO.96/2012

Senator Haji Adeel  Vs. Raja Muhammad Abbas and others

For the petitioner:
                                         Mr. Muhammad Zahoor Qureshi, AOR

(in Crl.O.P. NO.96/2012)
On Court Notice:                                              Mr. Qasim Mirjatt, Addl. A.G. Sindh

Mr. Zafar Ahmad Khan, Ad P.G. Sindh

Respondents:                                                    N.R.
Date of hearing: 14.12.2012


Office of the Registrar of this Court has drawn attention towards the substance of speech delivered by Altaf Hussain, leader of Muttahid Qaumi Movement (MQM)  on  02.12.2012 addressing a large number of  people  wherein uncalled for expressions and aspersions were used against the Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

2. In the wake of situation of law & order prevailing in Karachi, this Court in the judgment dated 13.9.2011 passed in the case of Watan Party v. Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2011 SC 997), on having examined in depth the facts and circumstances, on account of which lives and properties of the citizens of Karachi are not secured, issued directions including the one, which is reproduced herein below:-

“Further observe that to avoid political polarization and to break the cycle of ethnic strife and turf war, boundaries Of administrative units like police stations, revenue estates, etc., ought to be altered so that the members of different communities may live together in peace and harmony, instead of allowing various groups to claim that particular areas belong to them and declaring certain areas as NO GO Areas under their fearful influence. Subsequent thereto, on similar considerations, in view of relevant laws, delimitation of different constituencies has also to be undertaken with the same object and purpose, particularly to make Karachi, which is the hub of economic and commercial activities and also the face of Pakistan, a peaceful city in the near future. The Election Commission of Pakistan may also initiate the process on its own in this behalf.”

It is to be noted that above judgment was conceded  to  as no review petition was filed against any of the directions contained therein.  In the said judgment a mechanism was introduced but subsequent thereto it was noticed that  inter alia above directions were not being implemented despite lapse of considerable period, therefore, on different occasions, the case was heard to implement the judgment. On 28.11.2012 a Bench of this Court issued direction to Election Commission for taking in hand the process of delimitation of the  constituencies in Karachi city.

Relevant para from the judgment is reproduced herein below:-“In response to our earlier order dated 26.11.2012, Mr. Ishtiak  Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan is present. When confronted with the observations of this Court regarding delimitation of different constituencies at Karachi, in line with the observations in the judgment in the case of Wattan Party (PLD 2011 S.C.997) at page 1131, and the stance earlier taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan  through its director General (elections) Syed Sher Afgan, he candidly conceded that neither the Article 51(5) of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 nor section 7(2) of the Delimitation of Constituencies Act 1974 are hurdle in the compliance of such observations. He assured that now the task of delimitation of different constituencies in Karachi has been taken up by the election Commission of Pakistan with the Government of Sindh, and, for this purpose, from today onward, he is going to hold three meetings  with the concerned officials of the Government of Sindh, particularly, the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh to make substantial progress in this regard. He further assured that compliance of observations regarding  delimitation  of constituencies will be done/completed in its letter and spirit within the shortest possible time, after following due procedure and taking on board all the stakeholders, and such comprehensive report will be submitted for the perusal of this Court. The Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh, who is also present in Court, has assured fullest cooperation to the election Commission of Pakistan for this purpose……

3. Needless to observe that there was no  object of the above order except to implement the judgment of this Court dated 13.9.2011 in letter and spirit but it  seems that after passing  above  order Altaf Hussain leader of MQM delivered a speech addressing to the general public/citizens of Karachi on telephone by availing facility of uplinking, normally provided by PTA, wherein uncalled for remarks and the demands were put forward. The script of the speech has been obtained from PEMRA, a perusal of the same suggests that the derogatory remarks made by him  are critical and also contemptuous in nature.

Extract from the speech is reproduced herein below:-


4. The office note was directed to be put up in Court because on having gone through the above material it was considered appropriate to examine the same on judicial side.

5. Prima facie, contents of the speech of Altaf Hussain, reproduced above, tantamount to interference with and obstruction of the process of the Court by advancing threats to the Hon’ble  Judges of Supreme Court and it also tends to bring the Judges into hatred, ridicule and contempt. On account of such assertions, the process of the Court is also likely to be prejudiced, relating to implementation of the issues arising out of the directions of this Court in Watan Party’s case and subsequent orders dated 1.11.2012, 26.11.2012, 28.11.2012 etc. passed for the implementation of the directions issued in reported judgment, referred to hereinabove.

Criminal Original Petition No.96 of 2012:

6. This petition has been filed  by Senator Haji Adeel, under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 read with Article 204 of the Constitution, wherein after having relied upon the directions made by this Court in the judgment, noted hereinabove, inter alia  it has been mentioned that in Karachi lives and properties of the people have not been protected and no respite in loss of human life since been witnessed even after more than a year.  It was further stated that the Administration headed by Chief Secretary has failed to improve the situation and thus the directions of this Court have been willfully ignored rather violated. With regard to observation of this Court to avoid political polarization and to break the cycle of ethnic strife and turf war, boundaries of administrative units, like police stations, revenue estates etc. are to be altered so that members of different communities may live together in peace and harmony, and to delimitation of different constituencies to make Karachi as a peaceful city, it was mentioned that the respondents have done nothing and the said observations have been violated flagrantly.

The respondents have not moved an inch with respect to the directions regarding arms and ammunition of prohibited and nonprohibited bores. No appropriate legislation has been made with regard to land grabbing, which amounts to contempt of court. It was also mentioned that the directions with regard to compensation to those who lost their lives and properties, deputing of independent and de-politicised investigating agency, creation of special joint cell by NADRA and IGP, and collection of record in respect of police officials and witnesses etc. who have been killed, have not been complied with.  In the petition following prayer has been made:-

“It is therefore prayed that the respondents be proceeded against under section 5 of the Contempt of the Court Act R/W Article 204 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and they may be tried for contempt of court and punished accordingly.”

7. In the light of above, notices under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 be issued to Altaf Husain to appear in person and explain as to why he should not be proceeded against for Contempt of Court in accordance with the Constitution and the law.  Notice be issued to him through Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  Government of Pakistan as he has made above assertions during a telephonic address from outside the country. The Secretary will ascertain his correct location and shall ensure service upon him, through representatives of the Foreign Office outside the country. Similarly, a notice be also issued to him c/o Dr. Farooq Sattar, Deputy Convener, MQM, 494/8, Azizabad, Karachi.

8. Likewise, notices under Article 204 of the Constitution of Pakistan read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003  be issued to the respondents in Criminal Original Petition No.96/2012 to appear and explain as to why they should not be proceeded against for Contempt of Court in accordance with the Constitution and the law, for having been failed to implement the judgment in Watan Party’s case.

9. The Advocate General of the Province of Sindh is also directed to submit comprehensive compliance report in respect of the directions contained in  Watan Party’s case  and the orders passed thereafter by a Bench seeking implementation of the judgment. And if the judgment is not implemented in letter & spirit, he should pinpoint the person(s) individually and collectively responsible for the same. In the meanwhile the Provincial Government through its Chief Secretary should also furnish a statement as to why the killing in Karachi has again increased and what measures have been taken to ensure the safety and protection  of the life and property of the citizens in Karachi. Detail  of  citizens, who were killed from 13.09.2011 to date, be also furnished.

Adjourned to 07.01.2013.

Chief Justice



Islamabad, the 14th December, 2012

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