Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday decided to indict PTI Chairman Imran Khan on September 22 after the former prime minister did not submit an unconditional apology, the media reported.
“Imran Khan’s response was unsatisfactory,” said IHC CJ Athar Minallah, Geo News reported.
CJ Minallah is heading a five-member bench — comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangir, and Justice Babar Sattar — that heard the case.
Once the court took a five-minute break after the reservation of the verdict, Khan got up and asked the court if he could speak. At this, the IHC CJ said that the court had heard his lawyers.
“I want to give my stance; the court can question me,” Khan said, but the court preferred to let it be and decided against listening to the PTI chairman.
The court had last month taken notice of the former prime minister’s speech at a public rally, where he allegedly threatened Islamabad additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry for extending PTI leader Shahbaz Gill’s remand, Geo News reported.
At the last hearing, the IHC chief justice had asked Khan to ensure that he submits a “well-considered” response in seven days to the show-cause notice, otherwise the court would have its way.
In his first response to the IHC’s show-cause notice in the case, the PTI chairman did not apologise, offering, however, to withdraw his remarks “if they were inappropriate”.
In his latest response, which was a 19-page-long document, the PTI chairman seemingly opted to tell the court that it should discharge the notice based on his explanation and follow the Islamic principles of forgiveness.
However, in both responses, the PTI chairman did not offer an unconditional apology, which ultimately led to the court taking the decision despite amici curiae suggesting that the former prime minister be forgiven, Geo News reported.
During the hearing, the IHC chastised the PTI chairman, saying that the former prime minister seeks to “constantly justify” his actions, in a case pertaining to contemptuous remarks he made about a magistrate in a rally speech.
“It appears you have no realisation of the gravity of the situation,” said IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah.