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SC discharges contempt notice against PTI chief Imran Khan

28 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday discharged the contempt notice against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on using the word "Sharamnak", our sources reported.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Ijaz Chaudhry resumed the hearing today.

During the hearing, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali remarked that what will happen if the national leaders will not safeguard the dignity of the prestigious institutions.

He said if the court decides that the word "Saramnak" is not an abusive word, then it will set an example. He further said that a dictionary could be consulted for the meanings.

Justice Anwar Zaheer then suggested to review the reply and urged to take a respectable stance.

Imran Khan, summoned for a second time before the SC, said he never criticised the senior judiciary and that undermining the supremacy of the judiciary was akin to undermining democracy.

"Why it is being misconstrued?... I only referred to the returning officers and never named the Supreme Court or the superior judiciary," Khan told the court.

"My entire struggle has been focused on an independent justice system," he said.

The court dropped the case.

"The notice is discharged," said Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

The PTI chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday submitted a detailed reply in which he insisted that the word "Sharamnak" was not abusive and he did not use it for the judiciary.

The reply comprising 21 pages submitted by Imran Khan through his counsels including Muhammad Anwar Qazi, Ahmed Awais, Shamsa Ali and Muhammad Waqar Rana requested the court to discharge the contempt notice issued to him on July 26, saying that he had not committed contempt.

The PTI chief contended that the word "Sharamnak", used by him during his press conference of July 26, was never meant to be an abuse to anyone, not even for the DROs and ROs. "It was not used in its literal sense or connotation but it was rather used in the sense or context of unbecoming and it is humbly submitted that it may kindly be so construed," the counsels for the PTI chief contended.

The court had issued a contempt notice to Imran Khan for his critical remarks regarding the judiciary. Earlier, on August 2, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, rejected Imran Khan's rejoinder submitted in the contempt case and ordered him to submit his detailed statement by August 28.

Hamid Khan, counsel for Imran Khan, had submitted in the rejoinder that Imran Khan had not started any campaign either to scandalise the court or to bring the judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. On the contrary, he has always struggled to uphold dignity and independence of the Supreme Court and the judiciary in general.

The court, however, had noted that the way things were stated in the reply was not acceptable and the learned counsel for the respondent (Imran Khan) was directed to file a comprehensive reply by August 28.

The PTI chairman, in his detailed reply, contended that the criticism of ECP, DROs and ROs was directed at their performance which was in pursuance of their administrative duties.

The counsels for Imran Khan contended that his stance and demeanour in the court and his past services to the cause of rule of law and independent judiciary may be construed in his favour to conclude that he would neither commit contempt of court nor would ever scandalise the court or bring judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. They prayed that in view of the foregoing factual and legal position, no contempt has been committed by Imran Khan and the said notice dated July 26, 2013 may be discharged.


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