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IHC to frame contempt charges against Imran Khan today


IHC to frame contempt charges against Imran Khan today
Former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) Imran Khan, speaks during an anti-government protest rally in Islamabad on August 20, 2022. — AFP
Former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) Imran Khan, speaks during an anti-government protest rally in Islamabad on August 20, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will formally indict former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran on charges of contempt of court for his controversial remarks against Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry during a rally in Islamabad on August 20 today. 

A five-member larger bench of the IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kay­ani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aur­an­gzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar decided to indict Imran khan after finding his reply “unsatisfactory”.

In his first response to the IHC’s show-cause notice in the case, the PTI chairman did not apologise, offering, however, to withdraw his remarks “if they were inappropriate”. 

In his latest and second response, which was a 19-page-long document, the PTI chairman seemingly opted to tell the court that it should discharge the notice based on his explanation and follow the Islamic principles of forgiveness.

However, in both responses, the PTI chairman did not offer an unconditional apology, which ultimately led to the court taking the decision despite amici curiae suggesting that the former prime minister be forgiven.

A day earlier, the IHC said in a circular that the proceedings of the case will start at 2:30pm.

“A 15-member legal team of Imran Khan, 15 law officers from the office of the attorney-general and advocate-general will be allowed to enter the courtroom,” read the circular.

No one except for the above-mentioned will be allowed entry to the courtroom, unless they have special passes issued by the IHC Registrar office, it added. 

“The Islamabad administration and police will make security arrangements to maintain decorum in court,” read the circular. 

What did Imran Khan say?

At a rally at the F-9 park in Islamabad, Khan warned that he would “not spare” Islamabad’s inspector-general, deputy inspector general, and the female magistrate, vowing to file cases against them for “torturing” Gill.

“We will not spare the IG and DIG,” he said, while addressing the gathering.

The former prime minister called out the sessions judge, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the capital police, and said she, too, should “prepare” as a case will also be registered against her.

The PTI chief led the rally in Islamabad from Zero Point to F-9 Park in support of incarcerated leader Gill, who the party claims was subjected to “gruesome torture” in police custody.

IHC’s notice

On August 22, IHC registrar Farhan Aziz Khawaja put up a note regarding the ‘threatening remarks’ of the PTI leader about Zeba Chaudhry before acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.

After consultation with the other senior judges, the IHC acting CJ served contempt of court notice on Imran Khan and formed a larger bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Babar Sattar and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb to hear the contempt case.

A first information report (FIR) had been registered against former prime minister Imran Khan under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening an additional sessions judge and senior police officers of the Islamabad Police at a rally in the federal capital’s F-9 Park.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed in Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station under Section 7 of ATA.

The FIR states that the PTI chairman threatened Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers to “terrorise” police officials and judiciary. 

The main aim of the intimidation was to prevent the police officers and judiciary from carrying out their legal obligations, says the FIR.

The PTI challenged the case in the IHC which removed the terror charges from the FIR.

. by [author_name]

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