Terming judiciary ‘shameful’ is an abuse: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday said the term “shameful” used by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan while referring to the judiciary was apparently abusive and not acceptable to the court.

According to the report, the SC rejected the rejoinder submitted in the contempt of court case by Imran Khan and ordered him to submit his detailed statement by August 28.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the contempt of court case against Imran Khan

The court had issued a contempt notice to Imran Khan for his critical and derogatory remarks regarding the judiciary.“Can such words be used for the judiciary?” asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during the hearing.

He added that since Imran was a leader and a public figure, such words and statements were not expected from him.The way things have been stated in the reply is not acceptable and the learned counsel for Imran Khan is directed to file a comprehensive reply by August 28, the court ruled.

The court had given Imran Khan time till 11:30am Friday to submit his second and revised reply in the contempt of court case but later rejected it, terming it “disappointing”.The court termed his first response as “insufficient”. In hisresponse as “insufficient”. In his first explanation, Hamid Khan submitted that Imran Khan has neither committed contempt of court under the law or the Constitution nor would even think of doing so.

He contended that 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, said the lawyer.

He contended 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 were in the forefront of the movement for restoration of judiciary.

He said 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, Hamid Khan contended and requested the court to recall the contempt notice.

After the court’s direction, Imran Khan along with his lawyer and party legislature including Javed Hashmi, Dr Sheeren Mazari and other provincial ministers went to the office of Pakistan Bar Council for consultation process and later on filed a second statement.

In the statement, Hamid Khan submitted that the press statement was made in good faith on July 26 wherein reference to the judiciary was for the returning officers (ROs) and or district returning officers (DROs) who belong to subordinate judiciary.

He contended that Imran Khan has high respect and esteem for the Supreme Court and has expectations from the apex court for redressal of the grievances of the PTI arising out of the general elections.

“Restoration of the judiciary had been on my agenda. I had also spent eight days in jail for that,” said Imran Khan in court.

The SC, however, rejected the PTI chief’s detailed response on using the word “Sharamnak” (shameful) for judiciary. However, Khan’s lawyer Hamid Khan insisted that it was meant for the returning officers and district returning officers and not the Supreme Court.

The court did not approve his second response as well and instructed his counsel to submit a third and more heartfelt written response by August 28.

Referring to Imran Khan’s press conference on July 26, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that the PTI chief had said that the judiciary’s role was shameful in the May 2013 general elections.

The court told Hamid Khan that judiciary required to be respected and if there is any grievance of anyone, the remedy is available but by using derogatory words, prima facie, tantamount to abusing the judiciary.

The court pointed out that perhaps correct facts have not been brought into Imran Khan’s notice as his application was returned by the office on the same day by passing the order that it was not entertainable on the ground that instead of making this application in a pending review petition, the applicant should approach the appropriate forum and avail the proper remedy under the law.

The court ruled that cases are fixed in the Supreme Court under policy guidelines and wherever there is any sort of urgency, a request is to be made for out-of-turn fixation of the case, otherwise out of total pendency, which is about 19,000 cases, it is not possible to fix all the cases and dispose them of on the same day.

In addition to these, the court ruled that learned counsel has been appraised about 31 election petitions under section 52 of the Representation of People Act, 1976, filed by the candidates of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) before Election Tribunals requesting for, inter alia, examining the thumb impressions of the voters through the process of biometric system, particularly, in respect of the four constituencies.Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing on the request of Hamid Kha to file the reply by August 28.