PTI leader appears before five-judge bench, evades indictment by extending apology n Imran assures court he will not do such act again in future n Clarifies he didn’t threaten woman judge but talked about ‘a legal action’.
ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan apologized before the court yesterday for his threatening remarks against woman additional sessions judge of Islamabad court.
At this, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) decided to defer the indictment of Imran Khan in the contempt of court proceeding initiated against him.
The court order said, “We are, prima facie, satisfied with the apology tendered by the respondent. Let him file an affidavit for consideration of this Court before the next date fixed.” It further said, “Let the matter be adjourned to 03-10-2022 for framing of charge against the respondent.”
A five-member larger bench of the IHC headed by Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, Justice Babar Sattar and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jehangri conducted hearing of the contempt case against Imran and expressed its satisfaction over the apology tendered by the Chairman PTI.
The court was to frame charges against the PTI during the hearing. However, it deferred hearing after the apology tendered by Imran Khan. At the very outset, Imran Khan requested the court to allow him to make a statement. After the court’s permission, Khan submitted that his 26-year struggle was for the rule of law, respect and independence of judiciary and no political leader other than him spoke of rule of law in every public gathering. Imran stated that he realized during the proceedings that he might have crossed a red line. He stated that he never intended to threaten the Judge of the District Court and that his intention behind his statement was to refer to legal action.
“But he wanted to assure the Judges of this Court that he was willing to clarify before the Judge of the District Court that neither he nor his party sought any action against the Judge of District Court and that he would willingly apologize to the judge if she felt that the respondent had crossed a line,” maintained the PTI chairman. He also requested the court to allow him to apologise to judge Zeba Chaudhry in person.
Khan further said that he wanted to assure this Court that he would never do anything in future that would hurt the dignity of the Court and the judiciary and especially the lower judiciary. He also submitted that he was willing to take any further steps that this Court deemed necessary to satisfy this Court that he had never intended to interfere with the process of the court or impugn the dignity or independence of the judiciary.
At this, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the court is not framing charges against Imran Khan and directed him to file an affidavit in the court.
“The court values your statement [given] before the court. You understood the gravity of your statement, we appreciate that,” IHC CJ Minallah said, directing the PTI chair to submit a written affidavit for what Khan said in court.
On August 23, a larger bench of the IHC had issued a show-cause notice to Imran Khan after taking up contempt of court proceedings against him for threatening the woman judge during his party’s rally in Islamabad. In his first response to the show-cause notice in the case, the PTI chairman did not apologise, offering, however, to withdraw his remarks “if they were inappropriate”. In his latest and second response, he only preferred to tell the court that it should discharge the notice based on his explanation and follow the Islamic principles of forgiveness. However, in both the responses, the PTI chairman did not offer an unconditional apology, which ultimately led to the court to indict him.
PPP SAYS IMRAN KHAN’S TIME FOR APOLOGIES HAS STARTED
In its remation, Pakistan People’s Party said that Imran Khan’s ‘time for apologies’ has started.
“The entire PTI defended Imran Khan’s statement and Imran Khan apologized for the same statement. His time for apologies has started,” PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari said. Nayyar Bukhari said Imran Khan had created an issue for his party and then took a u-turn. “The people have also seen how inflexible Imran Khan is. Imran Khan’s recent statement is yet another u-turn,” he added.