A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday accepted Advocate Amanullah Kanrani’s “unconditional apology” for hurling accusations against two of the bench’s members during a hearing pertaining to the murder of lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar in Quetta. On June 6, Shar was fatally shot by unidentified assailants near Alamo Chowk on Airport Road. According to the police, the attack occurred while he was en route to the Balochistan High Court (BHC), targeted by unknown individuals wielding automatic weapons. The government and the PTI had traded blame over the incident, with both sides accusing the other of having a role in the killing. Subsequently, an FIR was registered on the complaint of Shar’s son, Advocate Siraj Ahmed, at Quetta’s Shaheed Jamil police station against Imran. On Wednesday, the apex court bench – headed by Justice Yahya Afridi and comprising Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi – was hearing PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s plea challenging a first information report (FIR) filed against him over Shar’s murder when the exchange between the lawyer and the judges took place. A written order states that the counsel, Advocate Kanrani, withdrew his allegations and “also rendered an unconditional apology”. “After deliberations, the unconditional apology rendered by the learned counsel for the complainant was accepted,” it adds. Adjourning the hearing till Aug 24, the verdict noted that the “interim order passed earlier shall continue”. It further stated that the case “may be fixed for hearing before any bench available” then as the current bench may not be available on the next hearing due to summer vacations. Kanrani, who was representing the deceased lawyer’s son, had initially refused to tender an unqualified apology, although expressing regrets for his behaviour. Justice Afridi had observed that the court would issue a written order since the judges did not seem inclined to accept an apology from the counsel at the time. A day ago, the proceedings became unpleasant when Justice Naqvi asked Kanrani if he had read the FIR lodged in the case. The lawyer replied that not only had he read the FIR but also the order in which a judge, while hearing the case of former Lahore capital city police officer Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, had suggested initiating suo motu action over the delay in elections to the Punjab Assembly after its dissolution. Continuing his tirade against the judges, Kanrani then turned towards Justice Rizvi and alleged that a case was pending against him from the time he was a junior judge in the Sindh High Court (SHC). Justice Rizvi rebuked the counsel for indulging in the character assassination of judges, also wondering about the nature of the case which, according to the counsel, was pending at SHC. “Either come up with evidence or face contempt charges for levelling allegations,” Justice Rizvi warned the counsel. The lawyer should retract his allegations, the judge said. When Kanrani returned to his seat, Justice Afridi said if he had reservations about the composition of the bench, he should have furnished it in writing. On the other hand, Justice Rizvi said he was ready to accept the apology if the counsel retracted his allegations. Subsequently, Kanrani tendered a verbal apology with folded hands, but said he would raise his voice if “judges become a party to the case”.