ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by Mian Muhammad Munir, former MNA of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, seeking suspension of his conviction by the SC over misconduct in attacking the court building in 1997, while observing that, “if such things were allowed, no one would respect this institution”.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry underlined the need to discourage such an attitude and observed that “an MNA attacked the Supreme Court and after six years he came for pardon. We have to respect the institutions as they cannot survive like this.”
A six-member larger bench comprising the CJP, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Rehmat Hussain Jafferi, Justice Tariq Pervez and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday dismissed the plea on the ground that it did not involve any live issue.
The apex court had convicted seven PML-N leaders over contempt charges and sentenced them to imprisonment of one month with a fine of Rs 5,000 each for attacking the court building on November 28, 1997.
In 2000, a five-member Supreme Court bench ascertained that former PML-N MNAs Munir and Tariq Aziz, and MPAs Tanvir Ahmed Khan, Akhtar Rasool, Akhtar Mahmood and Sardar Naseem Khan and then Nawaz Sharif Force president Shahbaz Goshi had committed contempt of the court.
Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Munir, asked the court if conviction in contempt of court declares a candidate disqualified from contesting elections forever. He said his client’s conviction had become a major hurdle for him in contesting polls. He said in 2007, his nomination papers were rejected on the basis of the Supreme Court’s 2000 decision.
Justice Tariq Parvez remarked, “If we pardon four people now, four hundred would come tomorrow for relief on the basis of this verdict.”