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HCJP TAKES NOTICE OF CONTEMPTUOUS SPEECHES/REMARKS OF IMRAN KHAN, CHAIRMAN, PTI

Dated: 31-July-2013

The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took notice on the note of Registrar based on press clippings of different newspapers containing the speeches/remarks of the Chairman, PTI Mr. Imran Khan. These remarks are fairly critical and very derogatory as regards the Judiciary/judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The note further states that as per details, while holding press conference on 26.7.2013, he stated that the role of judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan is shameful in the conduct of General Elections; that the elections were rigged, due to role played by these two institutions. He added that the General Elections 2013 were the worst in terms of rigging and mismanagement. He went on to state that he wants to ensure that no such like shameful elections are held in the future. He also stated that the PTI has accepted election results, but not election rigging.

On 29.7.2013 also, he expressed lack of trust in the judiciary and alleged that the Judiciary/Supreme Court have a hand in rigging the recent elections. On 30.7.2013 again, he stated that Judicial officers acting as Returning Officers remained the most controversial in General Elections. Further, that the double standards of the judiciary have come to surface as his candidates were knocked down on technical grounds.

It is hard to understand the outburst of Chairman, PTI for the unwarranted criticism and making highly objectionable, indeed derogatory statements, against the Judiciary and Judges of the Supreme Court. Indeed, he has used contemptuous and derogatory language against the Supreme Court and its Judges. Fair comments can be made on judicial verdicts but it is impermissible to scandalize/ridicule the Court or its judges. His statements are aimed at inter alia shaking public faith/confidence in the administration of justice and undermining the dignity/prestige of the Court, thereby tending to bring the Court/Judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. Article 204 of the Constitution read with the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 indeed provide for punishment for contempt of Court.

After going through the contents of the above note of Registrar, Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry passed the following order.

“Prima facie, it seems that he (Imran Khan) has started a deliberate campaign to scandalize the Court and bring judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. Thus, his above acts call for action for contempt of court under Article 204 of the Constitution read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.  Therefore, Notice be issued to him to appear on 2.8.2013 and explain as to why proceedings as envisaged by above provisions of the Constitution and law be not initiated against him. Notice be also issued to the learned Attorney General for Pakistan ”

 
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