The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday directed Imran Khan to submit an adequate reply within 7 days in the contempt proceedings for his controversial remarks about session judge Zeba Chaudhry who granted Shahbaz Gill’s physical remand in sedition case.
The IHC had issued the former PM a show cause notice and ordered him to appear before the honorable court in personal capacity. Headed by the Chief Justice of IHC Athar Minallah, a five-member bench heard the case today.
Prior to the hearing, the capital police asked the journalists and lawyers including Imran Khan’s lawer Hamid Khan and Babar Awan to leave the courtroom for security clearance; however Babar Awan refused to leave the room and said that he would stay there.
At the start of the proceedings, Mr Minallah regretfully said that he was not expecting that kind of response from the PTI chairman which he submitted in black and white to the court. He added that the former Prime Minister should have admitted his mistake as a huge number of people followed him.
I was not expecting the response from Mr Khan which he submitted in written form, Justice Minallah regretted
Justice Minallah said that questions were raised on the lower court regarding the issue of torturing people. He referred to the cases of journalists Asad Toor and Absar Alam and mentioned that the IHC had sent the matters to the federal cabinet in the last three years however no positive action was taken in this regard by the government.
The IHC CJ said it seemed as if the PTI chairman did not understand the gravity of what he had uttered so far.
Justice Minallah asked the advocate general to mention the concerned authorities who controlled the Adiala Jail asking how the jail administration could admit the accused without any medical check-up when there was a doubt of torture attached?
The IHC CJ also asked the dates of delivering the speech and the disposal of Gill’s petition in the IHC. He was told by the AG that the PTI rally was organized on August 20 whereas the petition was disposed after two days on August 22. Justice Minallah noted that the speech was delivered while the matter was still pending in the IHC.
It seems as if the former PM does not know the gravity of words which he used against the female judge, IHC CJ noted
He also referred to the question put by Imran Khan earlier on the IHC opening on the night of April 09 when PTI government was ousted through no-confidence voting and said that the step was taken by the court so that the history of October 12, 1999 (General Musharraf’s Martial law) might not be repeated.
He added that the courts were open 24/7 for any common person or a constitutional matter. Justice Minallah appreciated that the PTI chief had expressed his complaint about the opening of courts at mid night in a “very good” manner and it was much better if he had addressed the female judge in Shehbaz Gill’s physical remand matter ; the same way this time.
The IHC CJ said that a political leader enjoyed a high status however nobody could influence the judge of a court.
Imran Khan’s counsel Hamid Khan requested the honorable court to grant his client another chance so that he might explain and elaborate the reply as he never intended to pass remarks on a judicial officer. The court accepted the request and adjourned hearing till September 08, 2022.