IHC discharges contempt case against Imran Khan

Imran Khan march

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday discharged a contempt case against former Prime Minister Imran Khan that was filed against him for his remarks against Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.

A five-member bench, headed by IHC CJ Justice Athar Minallah, and comprising Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kay­ani, Miangul Hassan Aur­an­gzeb, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, and Babar Sattar, passed a unanimous verdict on the case.

Today’s proceedings

During today’s proceedings, Hamid Khan, Imran Khan’s lawyer, told the court that a third reply had been submitted to the court. To which the court replied: “We have read your affidavit. Is there anything else you would like to add?” Justice Minallah asked Imran. He went on to say that prima facie this was a contempt of court case but it was being dismissed due to Imran’s conduct.

“We take a lot of care in contempt of court cases,” Justice Minallah added. He said that the IHC was “dismissing” the notice issued to Imran, effectively ending contempt proceedings against the PTI chief.

“This is the unanimous decision of the larger bench,” he remarked.

The Attorney General, however, opposed the court’s decision to dismiss the show-cause notice issued to Imran as he pointed to the cases involving Nehal Hashmi, Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry.

“Are you saying you support the judgements in these cases?” Justice Minallah asked and subsequently told the attorney general to submit a written copy of his reservations in court.

Imran Khan, while addressing a rally at F-9 park, in Islamabad, on August 20, had 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.

Following the speech, the IHC registrar Farhan Aziz Khawaja put up a note regarding the “threatening remarks” of the PTI leader about the lady judge before the then-acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.

After consultation with the other senior judges, the acting CJ then served contempt of court notice on Imran Khan and formed a larger bench to hear the contempt case.

Last week, Imran Khan appeared before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry to apologize for his remarks.

However, Imran Khan was apprised that Judge Zeba was on leave and not present at the time.

At this, Imran Khan told the court reader to inform the lady judge about his visit. “I have come to apologize to judicial magistrate Zeba Chaudhry,” Imran Khan told the court reader. He also asked the reader to stay witness for his appearance in Chaudhry’s court to offer an apology, as the judge herself was on leave.

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