Disappointed IHC CJ gives another opportunity to Imran Khan
Directs PTI chairman to resubmit his written reply in contempt of court case: Remarks uttered words cannot be taken back: Maintains he was expecting PTI chairman will admit his mistake
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Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Wednesday gave another opportunity to former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan to again submit his written response within next seven days in the contempt of court case against him for his remarks against a female judge, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
While responding to the IHC’s show-cause notice, the former prime minister did not offer any apology rather offered to withdraw his remarks “if they were inappropriate”.
A five-judge larger bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, and Justice Babar Sattar heard the contempt case against Imran Khan.
Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Imran Khan cannot take back his words and the PTI chairman’s written replay has disappointed him (Chief Justice) personally. "The response that was submitted was not of the stature of a political leader like Khan," he added.
During the proceedings, Islamabad Advocate-General Jahangir Jadoon tried to intervene and speak but was stopped by the chief justice. The top IHC judge remarked that the matter was between the court and the person who has committed contempt of court.
The chief justice told Imran Khan’s counsel that this court has been raising the issue of torture since the last four years but your client did not know what he has done.
He said “Citizens’ disappearances are the worst kind of torture about which this court has sent all such cases to the federal cabinet. Alas, you have raised this ‘torture issue’ with the same spirit during your government.”
The IHC CJ asked the PTI chairman to review his response and submit it again.
The lower courts’ confidence would have soared had Imran Khan gone there to tell them that he has trust in them, the CJ remarked.
At the outset of the hearing, Imran Khan's lawyer Hamid Khan came forward and took the stand. CJ Minallah told him that although he was Khan's lawyer, he was also there to assist the court. "I did not expect this from you," the IHC CJ said in response to the reply that the lawyer submitted on behalf of Imran Khan.
CJ Minallah noted that a political party should always believe in upholding the law and the constitution. "In the last 70 years, a common man has not been able to make it to the high courts and the Supreme Court."
The IHC CJ asked who had control of Adiala Jail — where PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was imprisoned for a few days. "If there's even a small complaint of torture, then can the jail authorities imprison a person without medical examination?"
The IHC CJ went on to say that the PTI should look at the cases of journalists Asad Toor and Absar Alam. He added that during the last three years, the IHC sent such matters to the PTI's federal cabinet. "I wish they had raised their voice in this regard then."
The IHC CJ then asked when the high court wrapped up the case of the alleged torture of Gill and when the speech was made. At this, Imran Khan's lawyer said that the court concluded the case on August 22 and the PTI chairman delivered the speech on August 20. "The matter was already pending in the IHC while he made the speech."
Imran, who has already submitted his reply to the court’s show-cause notice, appeared personally in the court.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has submitted to the court record of Imran’s speech which he had made at the PTI’s rally at Islamabad’s F-9 Park on August 20, 2022, and at which he had made remarks against a female additional sessions judge.
The IHC has also issued a notice to the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) for assistance in the case.
The PTI chairman, in his speech, had said, “Get ready Magistrate sahiba Zeba for the action. All of you who are responsible for keeping party leader Shahbaz Gill in jail should be ashamed of themselves,” he had said.
Reporter: Ehtesham Kiyani