PTI Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday submitted a supplementary reply in response to the show-cause notice issued to him by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for threatening a judge in which he expressed “deep regret” over his “unintentional utterances” during a rally in Islamabad on August 20
The former prime minister appreciated the court’s observations made in the last hearing and the opportunity given to him to submit a “well-considered” response.
The PTI chairman’s controversial remarks about district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved his chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill’s physical remand in a sedition case, sparked a strong reaction and a terror case was filed against him.
The IHC also took notice of the matter and summoned the PTI chairman to appear before it on August 31.
A five-member bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar, heard the case.
Expressing his displeasure over the initial response submitted by Imran Khan, ICH Chief Justice Athar Minallah said he was expecting that Imran would admit to making a mistake in his reply.
“I was expecting that you would go to the courts and say that you trust them (the courts),” adding that Imran’s detailed response disappointed him.
He was given seven days to give a “well-considered” response to the notice.
In his reply today, the PTI chairman said observations made have given a great opportunity to reflect on the important aspects of the matter that have a great bearing upon the rule of law and fair dispensation of justice in Pakistan.
He assured the IHC that he has profound regard and respect for this court and its subordinate courts and judges, who are dispensing justice to the common man in severe difficult times.
“The Respondent takes this opportunity to express his deep regrets over his unintentional utterances during the course of his speech at a rally which was taken out in response to the shocking news of the physical torture of Shahbaz Gill.”
He stated that those utterances were “unintentional” and not meant to be directed towards the lady judge for whom he has “a lot of respect”.
Imran Khan said that he never meant to hurt her feelings and if her feelings have been hurt, it is deeply regretted.
“The Respondent neither meant to threaten the lady judge nor could he think of doing so. The Respondent has respect for the judiciary including the Subordinate judiciary and he believes that judges of the Subordinate/ District judiciary should be strong and independent in order to dispense justice to the common man,” the response added.
He also assured the IHC that he would not shy away from expressing his remorse to her.
“Those utterances were never meant to interfere with or in any way influence the course of administration of justice. The Respondent believes that Courts all over Pakistan are adhering to the rule of law and the Constitution.”
The PTI chairman also blamed the ruling alliance for politicising the matter.
“However, unfortunately, in order to gain political advantage, it has been bitterly criticized out of all proportions by those who see an opportunity for political point scoring and to oust the Respondent from the political arena. On the same issue, in order to political persecute the Respondent, an FIR was registered against the Respondent under the provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.”
He said that he was not aware of the fact that any appeal or other legal proceedings in respect of the same subject matter were sub judice before this court.
“That the purpose of the contempt law is not to punish anyone but to uphold the majesty of the law. The Respondent believes in the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution. It is submitted that the Courts have always recognized and followed the Islamic principles of forgiveness and restraint. The Respondent beseeches that the said Islamic Principles of love and forgiveness would also be followed in this case.”
He appealed to the court to discharge the contempt notice issued to him.
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