ISLAMABAD: In a surprise move, PTI Chairman Imran Khan Friday personally went to additional district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry’s court to apologise ahead of hearing of the contempt case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The former premier had threatened the female judge during a rally in Islamabad on August 20 for which he was facing contempt charges. In the last hearing at the IHC, Khan tendered an apology and showed a willingness to apologise to the judge.
When Imran Khan reached the court, the judge wasn't present in the chambers as she was on leave.
"I have come to apologise to judicial magistrate Zeba Chaudhry," Imran Khan told the court reader. He asked the reader to stay witness for his appearance in her court to offer an apology.
"You have to tell Madam Zeba Chaudhry that Imran Khan had visited and wanted to apologise if any of his words hurt her sentiments," he told the reader before leaving.
On September 22, the date fixed for Khan’s indictment, the PTI chairman finally apologised to the IHC.
A five-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar heard the case.
“I apologise if I crossed any line. It won’t happen again. I never intended to hurt the sentiments of the court,” Khan said while assuring the court of never committing “such an act again.”
He had also requested the court to allow him to apologise to Judge Zeba Chaudhry in person.
At this, IHC Chief Justice Minallah said that the court is not framing charges against Khan today and postponed the indictment till October 3.
“The court values your statement [given] before the court. You understood the gravity of your statement, we appreciate that,” IHC CJ Minallah had said.
The court directed Khan to submit an affidavit regarding his statement by Sept 29 and said that the case would be proceeded further in the light of it (affidavit).
The PTI chairman had staged a rally in the federal capital on August 20 to express solidarity with his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill after claims of torture inflicted on him in custody.
He warned the Islamabad inspector-general police and deputy inspector-general police that he would “not spare” them, vowing to file cases against them for subjecting Gill to alleged inhuman torture.
Turning his guns towards the additional sessions judge, who sent Gill on physical remand on the police’s request, Imran Khan then said she [the judge] should brace herself for consequences.
Earlier, terming Khan’s response “unsatisfactory” at the last hearing on September 8, the IHC had decided to indict the former prime minister after he did not submit an unconditional apology.
In his first response to the IHC’s show-cause notice in the case, the PTI chairman did not apologise, offering, however, to withdraw his remarks “if they were inappropriate”.
In his second response, which was a 19-page-long document, the PTI chairman seemingly opted to tell the court that it should discharge the notice based on his explanation and follow the Islamic principles of forgiveness.
However, in both responses, the PTI chairman did not offer an unconditional apology, which ultimately led to the court taking the decision despite amici curiae suggesting that the former prime minister be forgiven.
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