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Wednesday February 01, 2023

Long march: SC wants Imran Khan to explain May 25 incidents

Directive comes during hearing of federal government's contempt of court plea against Imran Khan about his long march

November 02, 2022
View of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — SC website
View of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — SC website 

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been directed by the Supreme Court to give an explanation on the incidents of May 25, 2022, over the government's contempt of court plea against the former prime minister.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial questioned the circumstances surrounding the conveyance of judicial orders to the PTI chair during the May 25 long march of PTI. 

The federal government filed a contempt of court plea against Khan regarding his party's long march to Islamabad.

In its petition, the government has contended that "Imran Khan is making announcements to attack Islamabad", which it claimed was a violation of a court order. It urged the apex court to direct the PTI chief to ensure the implementation of its orders related to protests and sit-ins.

A five-member bench, headed by CJP Umar Ata Bandial was hearing the case, while SC Bar Association President Ahsan Bhoon appeared in court.

Bhoon informed the court that he is representing PTI lawyers Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry, who had been served notices.

At this, CJP Bandial said that the court didn't serve any notices but only sought replies from the two lawyers. He said that the court will hear the arguments by the government's lawyer and the replies will be examined later.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman maintained that Imran Khan has sought time for a detailed response.

"Khan had given a surety but he has expressed unawareness towards any assurance or the judicial orders," he said.

At this, CJP Bandial inquired about the difference of time between the first and second orders of the court on May 25.

After the response by the additional attorney general, the CJP remarked that the time between the two orders was for taking directives. The court wasn't informed about from whom the directives were taken, he added.

At this, Rehman told the court that as per Faisal Chaudhry, the directives were taken from Asad Umar as he couldn't speak to Khan.

CJP Bandial asked why wasn't the court informed if anyone couldn't be contacted.

"This needs to be explained. The court had trusted Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry. None of them said that they didn't get the directives," CJP Bandial said.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked how did Imran Khan know about the court order.

He said that the assurance was given by senior PTI leadership assured and it starts from Imran Khan. "Imran Khan sought time for a detailed answer," he added.

The court sought an explanation from Imran Khan on the incidents that occurred on May 25.