SC grants Imran one week to submit detailed reply in contempt case

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Monday granted Imran Khan one more week to submit a detailed reply in the contempt of court case presently pending in court against him.

A five-judge larger bench of the apex court, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, heard the contempt case against Imran.

Earlier, the federal government, through the interior ministry, had approached the SC to initiate contempt proceedings against the former prime minister for violating its May 25 order wherein the PTI was restricted from holding its Azadi March near Peshawar Mor between the H-9 and G-9 areas of Islamabad.

However, Imran and his supporters had made their way towards D-Chowk, prompting the government to call in Pakistan Army for the security of the capital's Red Zone.

Read SC directs IG Punjab to register FIR of attack on Imran within 24 hours

On May 26, the same five-judge larger bench had taken up an application filed by Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali over violation of the court’s May 25 order.

The majority judges namely CJP Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi had shown restrain and on June 1 sought reports from director-generals of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), as well as IG Islamabad, interior secretary and others over the alleged involvement of the PTI leaders in instigating party workers to reach Islamabad's D-Chowk in violation of the court’s order.

However, in the previous hearing, the court had expressed that it was “disappointed” with the PTI leadership for breaching the court's trust by violating its May 25, 2022 order.

Even during the hearing of the presidential reference earlier in November, CJP Bandial had said the judges were “deeply disturbed” that the court's trust was breached.

Senior lawyers, who witnessed the court proceedings, had said the PTI leadership had “embarrassed” the judges, who were so generous and protected the party's activists from coercive actions taken by the PML-N-led federal and Punjab governments on May 25.

During the proceedings today the court nonetheless admitted that a “painful incident” had occurred last Thursday and permitted Imran’s lawyer’s request for adjournment.

Read More Imran urges Alvi to 'act now' to stop abuse of power

It may be noted that the former prime minister had sustained bullet wounds to his leg after an armed attack on his container, as he led the PTI’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ in Wazirabad.

One person died in the incident, while several members of the PTI chairman’s close circle, including Senator Faisal Javaid, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail, Ahmad Chattha and Imran Yousaf, were injured, PTI sources had said.

Imran's lawyer Salman Akram Raja informed the court today that he managed to only hold a short meeting with the PTI chief due to the circumstances, and requested the court for more time, even though Imran's answer he said "is ready and if the court so pleases can be submitted".

The CJP admitted the serious nature of the events and granted the counsel's request for more time. The court then adjourned the hearing of the contempt case until next week and gave Imran a week's time to submit a detailed reply.

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