Five-judge bench of Islamabad HC to proceed against Imran Khan over contempt of court charges


Islamabad:: A five-judge larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has been constituted to proceed against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan on the charge of contempt of court for ‘intimidating a female judge’.

The bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah comprises Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, and Justice Babar Sattar, Dawn reported.

The bench will resume proceeding on the matter on August 31, for which the court summoned Imran Khan in personal capacity and forwarded the case to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, seeking the inclusion of more judges on the bench.

Initially, the matter was heard by a three-member bench.

On Tuesday, the court issued a show-cause notice to the PTI chief after taking up contempt of court proceedings against him for threatening Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry during a public rally.

The show-cause notice to Khan mentioned that the statement was made in a sub judice matter to get ‘favourable’ verdict and prima facie, this act was tantamount to obstructing the course of justice and due process and undermining public confidence in the court of law.

According to Dawn newspaper, prima facie Khan committed “criminal as well as judicial contempt, punishable under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003”, it added.

“These remarks have been made with the motive of bringing the administration of law into disrepute and eroding the integrity and credibility of the judicial system.”

Also, Yaseen Gill, brother of Imran Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill, has filed a complaint before the IHC chief justice against additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry.

It stated that “she had passed the order on August 17, 2022, to hand over Shahbaz’s custody to police in grave violation and derogation of judicial norms and express provisions of law”.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman was booked for threatening a judge and two top police officials in a public meeting held at the F-9 Park late Saturday evening.

Khan was booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The PTI chair 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 in custody.

He warned the Islamabad inspector-general and deputy inspector-general that he would “not spare” them, vowing to file cases against them for subjecting Gill to alleged inhuman torture, according to Geo tv.

Earlier Imran’s lawyers, Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry filed a petition seeking pre-arrest bail on his behalf in a terrorism case registered for ‘threatening’ a female judge and senior police officers in a public rally.

The pre-arrest bail plea contended the case was based on “surmises and conjectures” and that no evidence was available on record against Imran in connection with the case. It also contended that there was no “direct or indirect” evidence available on record against Imran in the case.

Another point that was highlighted in the plea was the assurance that if granted protective bail there will be “no likelihood” of Imran absconding or tampering with prosecution evidence.

It should be noted that a terrorism case was registered against Imran Khan for using derogatory language and threatening Additional Session Judge Zeba Chaudhry in his speech in Islamabad on August 20. Sources say that the text of the PTI chief’s August 20 speech has also been included in the FIR.

Imran Khan, addressing a PTI rally in Islamabad, had said that they would file cases against Inspector General Islamabad Police, Deputy IG Islamabad Police, and magistrate Zeba Chaudhry for the torture of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill. (ANI)