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SC turns down Imran Khan's 'explanation'

03 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the written explanation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the contempt of court case, the Supreme Court on Friday asked him to file a comprehensive reply on August 28.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, expressed its disappointment over Imran Khan's statement in which he stated that the role of judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan in the conduct of general election was shameful.

The court noted, "Judiciary is required to be respected and if there is any grievance, the remedy is available under the law, but using the words "?????? ", prima facie, tantamounts to abusing the judiciary. The courts try their best to avoid asserting themselves in such situations but are compelled to look into a matter where not only the dignity or respect of a judge but of the entire institution is involved, and the courts are constrained to call for an explanation. The explanations noted above have been examined carefully and are hereby rejected not being satisfactory."

The court observed that instead of maligning the judiciary, Imran Khan should have filed an application for the early hearing of his petition against alleged rigging. It said that many people used abusive language against the judiciary on TV but it did not give them importance, but such type of words should not come from a man of Imran's stature. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja noted that choosing the right words is critical and great leaders are always careful in this regard.

Meanwhile, addressing the bench Imran said that he had complained that his goal was not achieved because the recent elections were the most rigged in the country's history. The chief justice stopped him by saying, "Go and file a written reply in this regard then we will see who will be embarrassed, whether you or us." The PTI chairman shook his head several times over the chief justice's remarks. Hamid Khan, counsel for the PTI chairman, submitted two explanations to the court but the bench declared them unacceptable.

In the first explanation the counsel submitted that Imran Khan has not committed contempt of court under the law or the constitution nor would even think of doing so. "Imran Khan has not started any campaign either to scandalise the court or to bring 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. That Imran Khan believes in the rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and independence of judiciary and, for this reason, he and his party was in the forefront of the movement for rule of law and restoration of judiciary.

That, after the general elections, Imran Khan has repeatedly requested and appealed to the Supreme Court to redress the grievance of his party which has suffered massive electoral rigging at the hands of ECP and its officials. This clearly establishes that Imran Khan and his party have high expectations from the Supreme Court that justice would be done to them and that their grievance would be redressed"

Later, on the court's direction, Hamid submitted the second written explanation on behalf of Imran Khan. It read, "The press statement was made in good faith on July 26, 2013 wherein reference to the judiciary was for returning officers and/or district returning officers (belonging to the subordinate judiciary), assigned to the election process."

The counsel also submitted that Imran Khan has high respect and esteem for the Supreme Court of Pakistan and has high expectations from the court for redressal of the grievances of the PTI arising out of the general elections.


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