ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought replies from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and the party’s lawyers on the agencies’ reports and the federal government’s allegations that PTI breached its undertaking given to the court on May 25, 2022 not to hold a protest at D-Chowk.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mazahar Akbar Naqvi heard a contempt petition filed by federal government against the PTI chairman for violating the commitment made with apex court not to hold a protest at D-Chowk.
The bench rejected the request of Additional Attorney General (AAG) Amir Rehman, who represented the federation, to issue notice to Imran Khan under Sections 2(a) and 3 of Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 as he had flouted the Court order.
However, the Chief Justice asked him that in case “you (federation) have any issue (in between the next hearing) you can approach us”.
He then adjourned the case till next week.
The chief justice, in the order maintained: “We have read the material (reports) and examined the Ordinance 2003 and the Order 27 of Supreme Court Rules 1980, but at the present stage it is necessary to ascertain the factual aspects of the breach of the undertaking.”
He; therefore, directed the SC Office to send the federal government allegations raised in contempt petition, and the agencies’ reports to Imran Khan, advocates Babar Awan and Faisal Fareed to answer to them by 31st October.
The chief justice said the AAG request asking the bench to convert pen as the stick, could be made stick if the SC judgment is violated. The bench questioned whether the assurance given to the apex court on May 25, 2022 was for the D-Chow or not?
The chief justice said that Justice Yahya Afridi in his order dated 1st June issued the notice to Imran Khan. Justice Afridi, in his separate note stated; “There is sufficient material before this Court to proceed against Imran Khan for the alleged disobeyance of the court order dated 25.05.2022.”
He therefore demanded: “It also warrants the issuance of notice by the SC to Imran Khan to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.”
On the other hand, the other members of the bench had called reports from IGP ICT, Secretary Ministry of Interior, DGs IB and ISI on the factual aspects of PTI’s long march on May 25.
The bench, in its last hearing had directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to examine the reports of the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, Inter-Services Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau, and submit a summary of their findings.
The bench again turned down the federation’s plea to pass an interim order restraining the PTI from holding a long march, which as per Imran Khan will commence on Friday from Lahore. Rehman contended that according to the PTI leaders they are coming to Islamabad to overthrow the government, adding Section 144 is imposed in the federal capital.
The chief justice said the executive has power to use lawful means to control any untoward situation. They (PTI) can’t violate and damage the public and private properties.
At the outset, the AAG referred to the contents of the Supreme Court dated May 25 & 26. He from the contents of the SC orders highlighted that an undertaking was given by Babar Awan and Faisal Fareed on behalf of Imran Khan for holding of PTI protest at the ground between Sectors G9 & H9, Islamabad.
He further informed that the PTI lawyers told the court that the party’s workers and leaders would not cause any inconvenience for the public, and assured that the rally would be held in a peaceful manner.
He said the person who gave undertaking, and persons who gave commitment on behalf have breached the same. He further told that despite the undertaking Imran Khan in the evening on May 25 directed the party workers and supporters to reach D-Chowk, adding that his conduct attracts initiation of contempt proceedings against him.
Earlier, the chief justice noted that flouting the Court falls in civil contempt. He said; “Even if we issue notices to him – Imran Khan – there would be no need for his presence.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022