PTI chief evades indictment as IHC accepts his apology in contempt case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday decided against indicting PTI Chief Imran Khan in a contempt of court case after he apologized on his “threatening remarks” against a woman judge.

The IHC adjourned the hearing till Oct 3, directing Imran Khan to submit an affidavit regarding his statement and said that further case would be proceeded in light of it (affidavit).

A larger bench of five judges headed by IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah presided over the case. The bench also included Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar.

“We are, prima facie, satisfied with the apology rendered by the respondent. Let him file an affidavit for consideration of this court before the next date fixed. Let the matter be adjourned to 03-10-2022 for framing of charge against the respondent. The proceedings will be taken up at 02:30pm on the date fixed”, the court’s written order stated.

As the hearing begin, Imran Khan arrived at court rostrum and said that he was ready to visit the woman judge Zeba Chaudhry to clarify his position and extend apology as he had no intention to threat the additional session judge.

He assured the bench that he would not do such act again in the future.

The PTI chief said that he always talk about rule of law and had been struggling for 26 years for independence of judiciary in the country.

“If the court thought he had crosses the line then he wanted to explain that he had not given the threatening remarks intentionally instead he had talk about a legal action against the said judge in public rally,” Imran Khan added.

He said that he had realized the seriousness of the matter as the case proceeding moved forward.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court appreciated the act of PTI chief for withdrawing his words about the judge.

He said that the court was not framing charges against him today.

The chief justice remarked that they did not encourage contempt of court cases but the way PTI chief gave remarks in public gathering was a serious matter.

The court instructed Imran Khan to submit affidavit regarding his apology and adjourned hearing of the case.

It may be mentioned here that the IHC had served a show-cause notice to Imran Khan on his remarks about the woman judge.

The court previously twice expressed dissatisfaction over the comments submitted by PTI chief in this case and fixed this day to frame charges against him.

Strict security in place

Strict security arrangements were made inside and around the court prior to the hearing, security was increased in various areas of the federal capital to deal with any potential untoward situation. The number of personnel deployed at sensitive places and important routes was increased.

The entry of lawyers, law officers and journalists in the courtroom was subject to entry passes, while the registrar of the high court also provided the facility to listen to audio cases in the press room and bar room.

A 15-member legal team of Imran, 15 law officers from the attorney general and advocate general office, three court assistants and 15 court reporters were allowed to be present in the courtroom.

The circular stated that five lawyers each from the high court and district bar will be allowed in the courtroom.


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