SC questions maintainability of contempt of court petition against Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD, Dec 02 (APP): The Supreme Court on Friday raised questions on the maintainability of a plea filed by the Interior Ministry seeking contempt of court proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for allegedly flouting the top court’s orders regarding PTI’s long march on May 25.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mazahar Akbar Naqvi heard the plea and observed that the petition was ineffective.

During the course of proceedings, Advocate Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for PTI Chairman Imran Khan, said that he would report on behalf of the party chief.

Salman Aslam Butt, counsel for the Interior Ministry, said the PTI had given the call for its supporters to reach D-Chowk on May 24.
He said that the entire record established that Imran was made aware of the court order.

Salman Butt said that government permission was required for installing jammer devices.

He said that Imran Khan had made false statements in his reply as he first mentioned his and then the chief minister’s jammers.

Upon this, Justice Naqvi asked how did the court determine who was making a false statement?
He said that the Supreme Court was not a trial court that would record testimonies.

He said that the interior ministry’s plea was already ineffective. He asked Salman Butt to first present arguments on the maintainability of the plea.

The counsel said the government filed the contempt of court petition against Imran Khan on the basis of the available material.

At this, Justice Mazahar Naqvi said a matter of contempt was between the court and the contemnor.

Salman Butt said that a petitioner could also seek contempt proceedings.

The Chief Justice said that the matter of contempt was between the court. He said that the court had to decide whether a show-cause notice could be issued to Imran on the basis of the available material.

The Chief Justice asked Salman Aslam Butt that he had to prove that Imran was aware of the court order and the contempt was committed despite having knowledge of the court order.

Justice Ijaz asked what was the federation’s pretension in the contempt case.

Salman Butt claimed Imran had been making false statements in his three replies submitted in the case.

Subsequently, the hearing of the case was adjourned till next week.