IHC dissatisfied, asks Imran Khan to resubmit reply by Sept 8

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP):The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the reply of PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan, and instructed him to resubmit submit it within seven days in the contempt of court case pertaining to his threatening remarks about a woman judge.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minullah and comprising Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Babar Sattar and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri heard the contempt of court case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, who was also in attendance.

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal Dogal, Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Jadoon, and Imran Khan’s lawyer Hamid Khan also appeared before the court.

At the outset of proceedings, the chief justice while addressing Hamid Khan, remarked that he was also the assistant of the court along with being the lawyer of Imran Khan. The reply submitted by Imran Khan was not expected from him, which had made him (CJ) saddened, he added.

The court expected from the counsel (Hamad Khan) that he would help increase people’s confidence in the judiciary and that his client political party believed in the rule of law and constitution, CJ Minallah observed.

He remarked that during the last over 70 years, the common man had no proper access to high courts or the Supreme Court.

The chief justice observed that Imran Khan had appeared before the court when he was prime minister and the judicial complex was being built. It would have been better if he went to the court and expressed his confidence in the lower judiciary.

He said a leader like Imran Khan should be more careful in uttering words as he had a big following. He was expecting that the PTI chief would realize his mistake.

The chief justice said the court had raised the issue of torture without any fear in the last three years. Torture could not be allowed at any level. Whether there was any greater torture than a missing person, he questioned.

He said the answer submitted in response to the show-cause notice showed that Imran Khan had not realized the mistake. The court kept sending the cases of journalists Asad Tur and Absar Alam to the then federal cabinet for three years, he said and wished that Imran Khan would have raised his voice even then.

He inquired that the Adiala Jail was under whose administrative control. Whether the jail administration accepted a prisoner without medical check-up If there was even a complaint of torture, he asked.

The chief justice noted that the matter was pending in the IHC when PTI chief delivered the speech. Those who criticized the institutions were not even supposed to get bail for six months under the PECA Ordinance, he said, adding when the IHC declared that ordinance null and void, a campaign was launched against it but the court never cared about criticism.

He said Imran Khan had questioned why the courts had opened at 12 o’clock. The IHC was open 24 hours for any constitutional case, Justice Minallah said.

He observed that the contempt of court was very serious when there was a pending case and it was a matter of justice.

Chief Justice Minullah said the opening of the court (for 24 hours) was a clear message that October 12, 1999 would not happen again. Every judge was well aware of every word of the constitution but no leader was talking about civil supremacy.

He observed that the Supreme Court had already given judgments in the cases of Daniyal Aziz, Nihal Hashmi and Talal Chaudhry, and the IHC could not go against them.

The chief justice said the political leaders were misusing the social media, His picture and that of a Supreme Court judge with the head of the political party were made viral. Wrong information was spread about a flat abroad in his name.

To a query, Hamid Khan requested the court to make Munir A. Malik an amicus curiae in the case. At this the chief justice asked the lawyer to give a name on which everyone would be agreed. However, the AGP requested the bench to appoint Makhdoom Ali Khan as an amicus-curiae.

The chief justice said the court was also making the Pakistan Bar Council as amicus-curiae for its legal assistance.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb remarked that the case could had been winded up today but the court would porceed it further after the PTI leader answer.

The court had given one more opportunity to Imran Khan to submit his reply, he added.

The chief justice remarked that the judiciary was blamed for having a ranking of 131 in the world, and once he told Fawad Chaudhry that it was the rank of executive.

The court ordered to implement the police order but the government opposed it, he added.

The court asked the PTI chairman to resubmit his written comments after detailed deliberation and adjourned the case till September 8.

The IHC had served a show-cause notice to Imran Khan asking him to clarify that as why a contempt of court proceeding should not be initiated against him on his remarks about Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.