SC slaps Imran Khan with contempt notice
01 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a contempt notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for criticising the judiciary after the revision of the presidential election schedule.
The court asked Imran to appear before it in person tomorrow (Friday) and explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.
"Prima facie, it seems that he (Imran Khan) has started a deliberate campaign to scandalise the court and bring judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. Thus, his above acts call for action for contempt of court under Article 204 of the constitution read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.
Therefore, notice be issued to him to appear on 2.8.2013 and explain as to why proceedings as envisaged by above provisions of the constitution and law be not initiated against him. Notice be also issued to the learned attorney general for Pakistan," read the order passed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after going through the contents of the Supreme Court Registrar's note.
According to the details, the chief justice has taken notice on the note of the registrar which was based on the clippings of different newspapers containing the speeches/remarks of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The SC registrar's note said that Imran Khan's remarks are fairly critical and very derogatory as regards the judiciary/judges of the Supreme Court.
The note further states that as per details, while holding a press conference on July 26, Imran stated that the role of judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan in the conduct of general elections is shameful and that the elections were rigged due to the role played by these two institutions.
He added that the general elections 2013 were the worst in terms of rigging and mismanagement. He went on to state that he wants to ensure that no such "shameful elections" are held in the future. Imran also stated that the PTI has accepted the election results, but not election rigging. On July 29, he expressed lack of trust in the judiciary and alleged that the judiciary/Supreme Court have a hand in rigging the recent elections.
On July 30, he stated that the judicial officers acting as returning officers were the most controversial in the general elections. He further claimed that the double standards of the judiciary have come to surface as his party's candidates were knocked down on technical grounds.
The note said that it is hard to understand the outburst of Imran and the unwarranted criticism, highly objectionable, indeed derogatory statements, against the judiciary and judges of the Supreme Court. It said he has used contemptuous and derogatory language against the Supreme Court and its judges. The note observed that fair comments can be made on judicial verdicts but it is impermissible to scandalise/ridicule the court or its judges.
It said the PTI chairman's statements are aimed at, inter alia, shaking public faith/confidence in the administration of justice and undermining the dignity/prestige of the court, thereby tending to bring the court/judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. The note concludes by saying that Article 204 of the constitution read with the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 indeed provide for punishment for contempt of court.