IHC to frame charges against Imran Khan in contempt case today

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2022-09-22 11:18:00

Former prime minister Imran Khan appears in court to extend pre-arrest bail in terror case, in Islamabad, Pakistan August 25, 2022. — Reuters
  • Larger bench of IHC to begin proceedings of case at 2:30pm.
  • Imran Khan to appear before court amid strict security.
  • Security arrangements include deployment of 710 cops at court.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is scheduled to formally indict PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a contempt of court case today (Thursday), for his controversial remarks about Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry during a rally in Islamabad on August 20.

On August 23, a larger bench of the IHC issued a show-cause notice to Khan after taking up contempt of court proceedings against him for threatening an additional sessions judge during the rally.

The PTI chair had staged a rally in the federal capital on August 20 to express solidarity with his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill after claims of torture inflicted on him in custody. He warned the Islamabad inspector-general and deputy inspector-general that he would “not spare” them, vowing to file cases against them for subjecting Gill to alleged inhuman torture.

Turning his guns towards the additional sessions judge, who sent Gill into physical remand on the police’s request, Imran Khan then said she [the judge] should brace herself for consequences.

Security arrangements

Strict security arrangements have been made for the arrival of the former premier for indictment. The police security order stated that 710 police officials and cops have been deployed under the supervision of two superintendents of police. An additional force of FC and Rangers personnel have also been deputed inside the court.

Moreover, the ways leading to IHC and its premises have been protected with barbed wires, while presence of armoured vehicles and equipment for tear gas shelling has been ensured at the court.

When will the case proceedings begin?

The IHC issued a circular on Wednesday, stating that the proceedings of the case will start at 2:30pm, during which a larger bench of the IHC will frame the charges against Imran Khan.

“A 15-member legal team of Imran Khan, 15 law officers from the office of the attorney-general and advocate-general will be allowed to enter the courtroom,” read the circular.

No one except for the above mentioned will be allowed entry to the court room, unless they have the special passes issued by the IHC Registrar office, it added.

“[The] Islamabad administration and police will make security arrangements to maintain decorum in court,” it added.

Court decides to indict Imran Khan

Terming Imran Khan’s response “unsatisfactory” at the last hearing on September 8, the IHC had decided to indict the former prime minister after he did not submit an unconditional apology.

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 and second 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.

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