ISLAMABAD: A five-judge larger bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has been constituted to proceed against Pakistan Thereek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on the charge of contempt of court for ‘intimidating a female judge’.

The bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah comprises Just­ice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar.

The bench will resume proceeding on the matter on Aug 31 when the ex-PM is supposed to appear in person before the court. The IHC had earlier issued a show-cause notice to Mr Khan with the direction to appear before the court.

Initially, the matter was heard by a three-member bench.

Gill moves SC against validation of his 48-hour custody by IHC

The show-cause notice to Mr Khan mentioned that the statement was made in a sub judice matter to get ‘favourable’ verdict and prima facie, this act was tantamount to obstructing the course of justice and due process and to undermine public confidence in the court of law.

“These remarks have been made with the motive of bringing the administration of law into disrepute and eroding the integrity and credibility of the judicial system.”

Prima facie Mr Khan committed “cri­m­inal as well as judicial contempt, punishable under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003”, it added.

Also, Yaseen Gill, brother of Mr Khan’s chief of staff Shahbaz Gill, has filed a complaint before the IHC chief justice against additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry.

It stated that “she had passed the order on August 17, 2022 [to hand over Mr Shahbaz’s custody to police] in grave violation and derogation of judicial norms and express provisions of law”.

Gill approaches SC

Meanwhile, Mr Shahbaz, who is currently lodged in Adiala Prison, approached the Supreme Court against the Aug 22 validation of his physical custody to the police by IHC for 48 hours despite strong evidence of custodial torture.

The petitioner moved two separate pleas before the SC, seeking a direction for the constitution of an independent medical board to ascertain the severity of physical torture, quantum of injuries and inhumane treatment meted out to him during the physical custody.

The SC was urged to set aside the IHC order “with full force” to avoid custodial violence and miscarriage of justice in future police investigations besides declare the investigation in the case (FIR No 691/2022) of Aug 9, including collection of evidence, as “unlawful”.

Earlier, a sessions court had adjourned till Monday the hearing on Mr Shahbaz’s petition seeking post-arrest bail.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2022

Categorized in: