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IHC reserves verdict on contempt of court case against Imran Khan


IHC reserves verdict on contempt of court case against Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: A five-member larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday reserved its verdict on a contempt of court case against Imran Khan for his controversial remarks about a female judge during his party’s rally in Islamabad on August 20.

At the outset of today’s hearing,   IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah declared subordinate judiciary a ‘red line’ and warned PTI Chairman Imran Khan that threatening a district judge is a more serious offence than a Supreme Court’s judge.

His remarks came during the hearing of a contempt case lodged against the PTI chairman for his controversial remarks about a judge during a public rally in Islamabad on August 20.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan appeared before the IHC amid tight security in the contempt case lodged against him for his controversial remarks about a female judge during the party’s rally in Islamabad on August 20.

A five-judge larger bench of the IHC has resumed hearing of the contempt of court case against the PTI chairman.

The bench is headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprises Just­ice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan appeared before the court in his personal capacity.

Today’s hearing

At the outset of the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer Hamid Khan started arguments, saying that he agrees with the observation given by the court at the last hearing and wants to put precise requests before the court.

“We want to wind up this matter,” he said, informing the court that a detailed reply has been submitted.

The lawyer contended that the IHC referred to two verdicts of the Supreme Court, which were issued in the cases of Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry.

“Imran Khan’s case doesn’t fall under these two verdicts. The two cases were totally different from that of Imran Khan,” he maintained.

At this, CJ Minallah remarked that there are three types of contempt of court, described in the Firdous Ashiq Awan case which was a matter of scandalising the court.

“There is civil contempt of court, the second is judicial contempt and the third criminal contempt,” he said.

‘The offence is very serious’ 

Expressing his displeasure over the reply submitted by Imran Khan, the CJ asked can the former prime minister give an excuse for his ignorance.

“The offence is very serious which has not been realised,” remarked Justice Minallah, saying they only have to look at the law.

At this, Hamid Khan said that they have realised, hence, they mentioned it in their written response.

The judge asked if their reply was appropriate in light of the SC’s verdicts.

No one can pressurise the court, observed the CJ.

Defending his client, Hamid Khan clarified that Khan wrote in his reply that he respects the district and the apex court. He maintained that his client had made the statement due to the alleged torture of Shahbaz Gill.

Imran Khan constantly justifying his action: Justice Sattar

During the proceedings, Justice Babar Sattar said that the leader [Imran Khan] did not express any regret for his derogatory remarks about a female judge and he was constantly justifying his action which is like a threat.

“How a political leader can say that he will take action against a judge while speaking at a public gathering,” asked the judge.

“There is a separate forum for an action against a judge but that’s not a public rally,” stated the judge.

At this, Hamid Khan, Imran’s counsel, maintained that the PTI chair missed the word “legal” while saying he’ll take action against the judge.

“Legal action also translates into a complaint,” he added.

‘Would become more dangerous if imprisoned,’ warns Imran

Talking to journalists before appearing in the IHC, Imran Khan said that he would become more dangerous if he is sent to jail.

“The government has been planning to arrest me for a long time,” Imran replied when a journalist asked if the government was planning to detain him.

When asked if he would tender an apology before the court today, Imran, on a lighter note, replied, “I will take NOC from you ahead of it”

Meanwhile, Imran said that he would talk to journalists after the hearing.

Imran Khan challenges IHC’s jurisdiction

Hours before a five-judge larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was to resume hearing of a contempt of court case against former prime minister Imran Khan, the PTI chairmen on Thursday morning filed a miscellaneous application before the court seeking permission to submit written arguments in the case.

In his fresh plea, Imran Khan argued that the high court cannot exercise suo moto jurisdiction as per the Constitution. The arguments on the inadmissibility of the contempt case should be kept on record.

“The written arguments will also be explained during the course of the proceedings,” read the plea.

Imran Khan stops short of apologising

A day earlier, Imran Khan submitted a supplementary reply in response to the show-cause notice issued to him by the IHC for threatening a judge in which he expressed “deep regret” over his “unintentional utterances” during a rally in Islamabad on August 20.

The former prime minister appreciated the court’s observations made in the last hearing and the opportunity given to him to submit a “well-considered” response.

The PTI chairman’s controversial remarks about district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved his chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill’s physical remand in a sedition case, sparked a strong reaction and a terror case was filed against him.

The IHC also took notice of the matter and summoned the PTI chairman to appear before it on August 31.

Disappointed with the response, the IHC gave him another opportunity to consider apologising for his behaviour.

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