The Supreme Court on Monday discharged a show cause notice over a contempt against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain after his counsel submitted a written unconditional apology regarding certain contents of his speech on December 12 last year.

A three-Judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh Azmat Saeed took up hearing of an issuance of notice to MQM chief regarding his speech which he delivered to his party workers after the issuance of an order by a bench over Karachi law and order situation.

Faroogh Nasim, counsel for the respondent of the notice, appeared and submitted a written apology on behalf of MQM chief, saying that he believed in dignity and respect of the superior judiciary and with this bonafide, he tendered his apology.

He said the party chief withdrew all the adverse remarks made against judiciary and showed his commitment to hold the judiciary in high esteem and dignity.

He said "He throws himself at the mercy of the Court and prays that the notice be discharged and his unconditional apology be accepted."

The Chief Justice observed that it was a good gesture and they appreciated it. "He has respected the Court and we also respect him," he added.

The bench in its order while accepting an unconditional apology of Altaf Hussain said that since he had not contested the proceedings of the Court and threw himself at its mercy, seeking unconditional apology.

He had showed respect and honour for the judges of the Supreme Court and made commitment for future to hold the judges in dignity.

Keeping in view of unconditional apology and commitment for holding dignity of the judges of the Supreme Court, the notice was hereby discharged, the bench added.

To bench query, Faroogh Nasim replied that his power of attorney was counselled and notified in UK.

The Chief Justice also summoned Rauf Siddiqui another MQM MPA and asked him how could he address a letter to the Chief Justice over the issue.

Expressing his displeasure over contents of the letter, he told him that he was not a greater leader than Altaf Hussain.

"We have respect for all the political leaders," the Chief Justice added.

He also drew attention of the counsel towards a statement of Dr Farooq Sattar, minister for overseas Pakistanis and MQM deputy convener, by saying that he had used the words like 'kettle calling the pot black'.

Faroogh pleaded that on their behalf he also submitted unconditional apology and requested that no further action should be taken against them.

He said that they would not do it in future.

Dr Farooq Sattar appeared and said that he did not refer to the judiciary in his statement.

Justice Sh Azmat Saeed remarked that it was the most disappointing that a statement came from the seasoned politician like Dr Farooq Sattar.

Farooqh Nasim expressed his deep gratitude on behalf of whole of MQM leadership and said they would continue to strive for the rule of law.