Judge wants contempt proceedings against Imran

Justice Afridi said Imran's statement and conduct sufficient to prima facie show that the PTI chief disobeyed SC order

Hasnaat Malik June 02, 2022
Photo: Facebook/ImranKhan


Supreme Court Judge Justice Yahya Afridi, while dissenting with the majority order, has observed that contempt proceeding should be initiated against PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan for instructing party activists and supporters to proceed towards D-Chowk in violation of the SC's May 25 order.

"With profound respect, instead of calling for reports from the named officials of the state agencies/departments, as directed by my learned brother, I am of the opinion that there is sufficient material before this Court to proceed against Mr Imran Khan for the alleged disobedience of the court order dated 25.05.2022 passed in Constitution Petition No 19, which warrants the issuance of notice by this court to [him] to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him,” read a dissenting note issued by Justice Afridi.

The SC judge disagreed with the majority judges’ opinion that there was no credible material before the court for initiating independent contempt proceedings against the ex-PM, who allegedly disobeyed the court order dated May 25, 2022.

"The video-recording of Mr. Imran Khan’s statement was played on multimedia screen in an open court during the court proceedings," the note added.

Justice Afridi said the statement of Imran, coupled with his conduct that followed thereafter in proceedings beyond the venue of the political gathering, was in his opinion, sufficient to prima facie show that the PTI chief had disobeyed the SC order.

Read Imran backtracks on six-day ultimatum for Islamabad long march

It is being witnessed that Justice Qazi Faez Isa case had profound implications on the working of the Supreme Court. Several dissenting notes were issued in Justice Isa case.

Whenever judges, who gave opinion in favour of Justice Isa, were being included in larger or special benches to hear high-profile cases, they largely dissented from others.

Justice Afridi had dissented in the presidential reference case wherein SC's opinion was sought regarding interpretation of Article 226 of Constitution in the context of Senate elections. Two judges, namely Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, had dissented in the majority opinion on the presidential reference seeking the interpretation and scope of the Constitution’s Article 63-A.

The debate has also started to frame rules to regulate the chief justice of Pakistan's discretionary powers about the composition of benches. Senior lawyers also believe that CJP is the master of the roster, but he should exercise his authority fairly and honesty. They say that CJPs should end the perception that they include majority of like-minded judges in their bench to hear high-profile cases.

A senior government functionary believed that the SC had expressed 'disappointment' on the conduct of the PTI leadership for violating the court’s May 25 order.

The word 'disappointment' might have implications for the PTI, he added.

He noted that the summoning of reports from executive authorities would be crucial as it reminded of the Panamagate case, wherein a joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to collect evidence against the Sharif family. On the basis of that evidence, ex-PM Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for life.


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