- PTI chairman says willing to apologise to Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred on Thursday contempt proceedings against Imran Khan after the former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman offered to apologise to Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry for his controversial remarks, Aaj News reported.
A five-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, Justice Babar Sattar, and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jehangri heard the contempt case against Imran.
The IHC was expected to formally indict the former prime minister today in contempt proceedings.
In its written order, the court observed that Imran Khan admitted today that he “may have crossed a red line”.
“He wanted to assure the Honourable Judges of this Court that he was willing to clarify before the Honourable Judge of the District Court that neither he nor his party sought any action against the Honourable Judge of District Court and that he would willingly apologize to the Honourable Judge if she felt that the respondent had crossed a line.”
The court noted in its order that the former premier promised never to repeat actions in the future that would hurt the dignity of the judiciary and especially the lower judiciary. In view of Imran’s response, the court said that it was “satisfied with the apology rendered by the respondent”.
“Let him file an affidavit for consideration of this Court before the next date fixed,” the IHC added.
Earlier, during the hearing, the former prime minister took the stand, seeking permission to put his statement on the record. “I am ready to apologise to the female judge,” he told the court.
“The court thinks I have crossed a line. My intention was not to threaten the female judge. If the court says so, I am ready to personally go to the judge and apologise."
Justice Minallah said that the court would record the PTI chief’s statement and told him to submit an affidavit.
The IHC CJ remarked that it would not be appropriate to conduct contempt proceedings after Imran agreed to apologise to Judge Zeba Chaudhry and the hearing was subsequently adjourned till a later date.
On August 23, a three-judge bench issued a show cause notice to Imran over his remarks against Additional Sessions Judge, Islamabad.
The IHC on September 8 had decided to indict Imran after he failed to satisfy the court with his replies.
The reply submitted on behalf of Imran on September 7 stated; “The respondent (Imran Khan) 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 physical torture of Shahbaz Gill.”
The bench written order stated; “We have considered the response so filed and have not found it satisfactory. We are not convinced that the respondent (Imran Khan) has purged himself of the wrongdoing alleged against him.”