Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has offered to “take back” his remarks regarding district and sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry, in response to the show-cause notice issued to him by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in contempt proceedings.
The PTI chairman, through his counsel, claimed that he was not aware of Chaudhry – who had approved the physical remand of Shahbaz Gill and had been on the receiving end of ‘threatening remarks’ – being a judicial officer. Instead, the PTI chairman stated through his counsel, he was under the “misconception” that she was an executive magistrate on administrative duty for the federal government.
Earlier this month, a bench of the IHC had issued a show-cause notice to the PTI chairman and launched contempt proceedings for “undermining the integrity and credibility of the judicial system in the eyes of public at large”.
The court had also summoned him on August 31.
In the response submitted to the court today, it was stated that the respondent [Imran Khan] was willing to take his words back if regarded as “inappropriate”.
The response also stated that the PTI chairman had no intention of making any comment against the judicial officer.
It also said that the respondent had no “ill-motive” and the remarks were not directed specifically towards the judicial officer.
The statement further said that the PTI chairman had been disturbed after seeing visuals of the “torture inflicted on Shahbaz Gill” and hearing about the “sexual abuse”.
It also said that there was no intention to obstruct the court of justice.
The counsel also argued that fair criticism was desired for administration of justice and should be allowed.
The statement also pointed out that the PTI chief’s remarks had been taken “out of context” to portray that he wanted to take matters into his own hands.
It further said that it was the legal right of every citizen to complain regarding misconduct of a judge or public official.
The PTI chairman also requested in his statement that the show-cause notice against him be discharged and contempt proceedings dismissed.
The development is the latest in the contempt proceedings initiated against Imran Khan for making “threatening remarks” in a rally on August 20, against a woman judge and police officials who he had deemed as responsible for the approval of physical remand of his chief of staff, Shahbaz Gill.