Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he deeply regretted his “unintentional” remarks passed about a lady judge during his rally in Islamabad last month.
In his second response to a show-cause notice issued to him by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the PTI Chairman said that he appreciated the second chance provided to him by the honorable court to “reflect upon the whole issue” and “submit a supplementary reply”.
In a 19-page-long response, Imran Khan said that he has profound regard and respect for this Honorable Court and its subordinate Courts and judges.
“The Respondent [Imran Khan] takes this opportunity to express his deep regrets over his unintentional utterances during the course of this speech at a rally which was taken out in response to the shocking news of physical torture of Shehbaz Gill,” the statement read.
It said that Imran Khan never meant to hurt her feelings, and if her feelings were hurt, it is deeply regretted.
“The Respondent neither meant to threaten the lady judge nor could he think of doing so,” it further said.
It also said that Imran Khan “would not shy away from expressing his remorse to her [the lady judge]”.
IHC gives Imran Khan seven days to submit another response
On August 31, the IHC granted Chairman PTI Imran Khan seven days to submit another written response to the show-cause notice served on the former Prime Minister for his remarks on Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.
A larger bench of five honourable judges, headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar were also part of the larger bench.
Imran Khan’s statement
Imran Khan, while addressing a rally at F-9 park, in Islamabad, on August 20, alleged that Judge Zeba Chaudhry knew that incarcerated party leader Shahbaz Gill was tortured, but she did not release him on bail. He threatened to take action against the judge and the Islamabad IG and DIG police.
IHC registrar Farhan Aziz Khawaja put up a note regarding the “threatening remarks” of the PTI leader about the lady judge before acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.
After consultation with the other senior judges, the IHC acting CJ served contempt of court notice on Imran Khan and formed a larger bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Babar Sattar and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb to hear the contempt case.
Khan’s first response to show-cause notice
In a response to the show-cause notice, Imran Khan told the IHC that due to “serious misunderstanding and misconception” he misunderstood that female Judge Zeba Chaudhry was not a judicial officer but an executive magistrate performing executive functions under the federal government’s directions.
In the response, he did not apologise for threatening the additional sessions judge, offering, however, to withdraw remarks “if they were inappropriate.”
“As someone who believes in rule of law and a strong independent justice system, the respondent does not believe in hurting the feelings of honourable judges.”
Khan submitted the response through Hamid Khan and Barrister Salman Safdar.