SC seeks reasons from Centre for contempt petition filing against IK

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has asked the federal government why did it feel need to file a contempt of court case against PTI chief Imran Khan, saying that the court will take action if it considers it necessary as it has “reports of law enforcement agencies”.

A five-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of the contempt case against the former prime minister. Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja, and the interior ministry’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt were present in the court.

During the hearing, Raja apprised the court that he has submitted a response to the government documents and will present Imran Khan’s arguments now.

Interior Ministry’s council Salman Butt said that the PTI chairman gave a call for D-Chowk on May 24. There is data proving that Imran Khan was aware of the Supreme Court orders and that they have submitted a USB with the PTI leaders’ statements, establishing their awareness of the SC verdict, he added.

Justice Mazahar Naqvi questioned that how they could distinguish the truth from the lie, adding that the Supreme Court is not a trial court that can record statements.

The apex court said that matter of contempt is between the court and the contemnor. He added that the court could issue a contempt notice in light of the agencies’ reports if needed. He questioned why the government felt like filing a contempt case against the PTI chief.

It is the SC’s duty to carry out contempt proceedings if needed; the government can only offer assistance. The Interior Ministry’s counsel argued that the contempt proceedings are a continuation of the top court’s verdict regarding the PTI long march’s entrance to the Red Zone.

The chief justice said that Imran Khan claimed there was chaos on May 25 and protesters were out of control. However, it looks like the PTI leader did not go to the D-Chowk himself but asked his supporters to do so, he added.

Justice Bandial also said that the PTI’s intentions were always to go to the D-Chowk, the PTI lawyers convinced the court that barriers were lifted. However, later they did not honour their commitment and turned to the D-Chowk, he added.

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