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LHC CJ seeks 'explanation' from Imran over workers' 'hooliganism'

08 May, 2014

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan to state his position in writing about the incident that took place at the entrance of the court on Wednesday, where a number of his supporters created disturbance during the hearing of a petition by the National Assembly speaker.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had challenged the Election Commission order on an election petition of Imran Khan for inspection of the record of NA-122, Lahore.

The chief justice observed that precautions "must be taken by persons with political following who have an added duty to control irresponsible behaviour of their supporters. The brash conduct by fervent supporters in the present case should have been anticipated and prevented".

The CJ directed the counsel for Imran Khan to submit a written explanation on behalf of his client to state his position on the incident.

He postponed the hearing of the petition until May 12 and observed that the court would see the explanation to be submitted by the respondent fist and then decide the fate of the main case.

Ahmad Awais, the counsel of Imran, expressed his regrets before the court for the crowd who forcibly entered the courtroom. The outer doors of the court were unhinged in the process, but the court proceedings were not interfered. However, the forcible entry by some zealots into the courtroom did disturb the decorum and tranquillity of the court.

Because of the disturbance the hearing was held in the chambers of the chief justice. The chief justice called the counsel for Imran to the chamber where he, (Awais) regretted the rash behaviour of some supporters of Imran. He said that he advised his client to leave the courtroom in order to disperse the enthusiasts, and Imran left the LHC.

The CJ appreciated the statement of counsel for Imran and observed, "The canons of conduct for attending courts of law require respect, patience and tolerance to be displayed by all attendees.

On Wednesday, Imran Khan came to the LHC to attend the proceedings of the petition moved by Ayaz Sadiq. A large number of PTI workers were already present at the LHC before the arrival of Imran, and as he reached, the workers followed him to the courtroom.

Security personnel closed the door of the courtroom from the inside after the entrance of Imran Khan and hundreds of his party workers remained outside. The charged workers tried to enter the courtroom and door of the court was ejected in that attempt.

When Imran and his supporters left the court premises, the CJ resumed the hearing in an open court after two hours.

While speaking to journalists here, Imran Khan said there was no other way left for them but to take onto streets as they have been knocking every door against the rigging in the last general elections since a year but no one giving them justice.

He warned the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to sever circumstances if it tried to stop 'peaceful' protest on May 11 against rigging in the general election.

Imran said he had gone to courts, tribunals, parliament against the alleged rigging but no institution was ready to listen to him. He said that speaker of the National Assembly has taken stay order against his plea. After disappointment from all institutions, his party has decided to stage protest which was their legal right, he said.

The PTI chairman suggested that Article-6 of the constitution must be applied on those who have won the polls with rigging. He said such rulers cannot solve problems of the masses who came into power by dishonest means. He said that PTI would present charter of demands during the May 11 protest at D-Chowk in the capital.

He said that the PML-N government may crumble if it tried to stop or sabotage May 11 rally, adding the government would have to face consequences if workers were barred from participating in the rally. "There is no use of taking part in such elections where polls are always rigged. People seek justice," said Imran whose PTI rules Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami.

However, the PTI chief refrained this time from accusing the judiciary of involvement in election irregularities, saying that his party respects judiciary. But he again questioned the role of returning officers and a media house in facilitating PML-N win in 2013 elections. He called for action against election riggers.

End.

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