Wednesday February 01, 2023

Imran Khan seeks ending contempt proceedings related to May 25 events

PTI Chairman Imran Khan submits response in contempt case, denies "willfully disobeying" court's orders

November 16, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court to end contempt of court proceedings against him, while denying "willfully disobeying" the court's orders related to the May 25 long march.

The apex court, on November 2, had sought an explanation from Khan on the events of May 25, 2022, related to the party's first long march, during the hearing of a contempt of court plea filed by the federal government.

In its petition, the government said, "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.

However, since the PTI chair sustained bullet injuries in an assassination bid during his long march in Wazirabad on November 3, his lawyer, Salman Akram Raja moved the court for deferral of the proceedings, while the sought response couldn't be submitted until today.

The 23-page response submitted via Khan's counsel Akram Raja stated that the PTI chairman wasn't informed about the court's orders passed on May 25 and he didn't disobey them intentionally. 

Khan also stated that the Supreme Court in its order also asked Advocate Babar Awan to meet him, however, the administration did not facilitate a meeting.

"We regret taking this step unintentionally," said the PTI chief, adding that the May 25 call of a peaceful protest was against the incumbent government's behaviour.

"It is denied that the Answering Respondent has ever intended to dislodge the incumbent government by storming the city of Islamabad with the support of PTI workers," he wrote in his reply, adding that "it was always the intent of the Answering Respondent and the leadership of the PTI to conduct a peaceful and lawful rally without causing any damage to public or private property."

Khan blamed the federal government and the provincial government of Punjab for causing chaos in the city. He added that he was "never informed or led to believe that this Honourable Court had, through its verbal order of 06:05pm on 25.05.2022, barred peaceful political gatherings at any part of the city apart from the ground between the Sector G-9 and H-9."

The former PM also denied the reports by international agencies, saying that they "contain inferences and presumptions not supported by the facts".

Khan also said that he has "neither 'glamoured a trend of maligning the judiciary and state institutions' nor has he condoned or encouraged such behaviour or any smear campaign against the judiciary and the state institutions."