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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday welcomed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s apology and decided not to indict Pakistani leader Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the case of contempt of court.
The ousted premier told the court that he was prepared to apologize to Zeba Chaudhry, Additional District and Sessions Judge, for his comments.
The former prime minister was accused of threatening the court at a rally last month for placing Shahbaz Gill, the leader of the PTI, in pre-trial detention.
The case was heard by a larger bench of five judges, led by IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah. Judges Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri, Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb and Babar Sattar were also on the bench.
The case was adjourned to 03-10-2022 for the formulation of the charges against the respondent. Debates will resume at 2:30 p.m. on the date set. Let’s put the case on hold until 03/10/2022 so that the respondent can be charged. The debates will begin on the scheduled day at 2:30 p.m.
The charges were originally due to be read out in court today. Imran’s lawyer, Hamid Khan, however, reiterated his plea from the previous session, and the PTI leader was allowed to speak in court.
Imran stressed that he had dedicated the past 26 years to the cause and said he was the only one to speak about the rule of law at political rallies.
He added that he was “sorry” for “crossing a red line” and “assured the court that I would not do anything like this in the future”. In response, the court said the purpose was not to indict the PTI president. in contempt of court. The contempt of court proceedings were launched because the case was still under investigation, CJ Minallah continued.
The Chief Justice added: “We welcome that. [the apology]”, adding:” What happened should not have happened. The judge said, “For us, [the main worry] are the lower courts,” and ordered Imran to provide an affidavit on the matter within a week.