IHC won’t hear PTI cases if Imran doubts its impartiality: CJ
Remarks courts have withstood several vilification campaigns in past and they will also not come under pressure this time round
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Taking strong exception to the doubt expressed by the PTI regarding impartiality of courts, the Islamabad High Court chief justice denounced the narrative being spun by the party head terming it a campaign against the judiciary, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah uttered these remarks while hearing a petition filed by former information minister Fawad Chaudhry beseeching court to stop government from registering cases against PTI leaders and workers under blasphemy laws in the context of Medina incident where PTI workers raised slogans against PM Shehbaz Sharif and his Umrah entourage at Masjid-e-Nabvi.
Chief Justice Minallah remarked that PTI Chairman Imran Khan in his speech yesterday (Sunday) again mentioned why the courts opened at midnight on the no-confidence vote day.
“It seems that Imran is giving message to his workers that courts are not free. If the Supreme Court or high courts are not free, then why the PTI is knocking at their doors for justice,” the judge who was vexed by PTI chief’s time and again barrage against judiciary remarked.
He wondered why the PTI kept submitting its cases to the courts if it was so distrustful of its impartiality.
The judge ordered the lawyer to ask Imran Khan whether he did have trust in the court. “If Imran lacks trust, then this court will not hear the PTI case,” the judge remarked.
He said the court believed that Imran was giving this message to his supporters that courts were compromised.
“Court can remain open for 24 hours. In the past, several campaigns had been launched against the courts. This court gives a fig to the malicious campaign being launched against it,” the justice remarked vowing that the court would not come under any pressure.
He said that this court was hearing important cases involving big issues like missing persons and Baloch students cases which were in fact issues need to be solved by the executive.
“But the court will not let their rights to be usurped when the parties keep spinning their political narratives,” he added.
Justice Minallah also reminded the PTI that during its sit-in in 2014, the court was opened at 11pm and gave relief to its workers. “Many a time, the courts provided relief to the people after their official timings,” he added.
The IHC CJ said that the court had received four petitions on April 9. Did the court hear any of these petitions on April 9, the judge asked adding that the very next day, the petition was returned after imposing a fine on the petitioner.
However, in the end, CJ Minallah extended his earlier order directing authorities not to arrest and harass Fawad Ch till May 12.
Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani