Cleric Who Threatened Justice Isa Gets Bail From IHC

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has approved a bail plea of suspect Maulvi Iftikharuddin Mirza in a case pertaining to threats to Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said the suspect was granted the bail to 'ensure a fair trial' and asked him to submit a surety bond worth Rs1 million.

"Do you know what the suspect has said about the judge and the judiciary?" Justice Minallah asked the defence counsel. "The suspect has apologised for his words," responded Mirza's lawyer.

At this, Justice Minallah said that the high court was only concerned about the bail application, as the contempt case against Mirza was in the Supreme Court. "This matter pertains to maligning the entire judiciary," he added.

The deputy general informed the court that the charge sheet against the suspect included provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, defamation among others.

On July 15, the Supreme Court indicted cleric Iftikharuddin Mirza for being contemptuous and using scandalous language against the judiciary, especially Justice Qazi Faez Isa, in a video that went viral.

Mirza had asked for forgiveness and said he was ashamed of the remarks he made in the video.  “I ask forgiveness from you as a Muslim,” he had said.

“This is not a case of forgiveness. You cannot ridicule the judiciary in this way,” the chief justice had said. “You were using such [derogatory] language from the Minbar of a mosque, the kind that even an illiterate person wouldn’t use,” he had added.