Imran eyes relief in contempt case

Legal team meets today to devise strategy to be chaired by Hamid Khan


Hasnaat Malik September 20, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan during Buner rally on Friday, June 3. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD:

Emboldened after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered dropping terrorism charges against him, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has summoned a meeting of his legal team on Tuesday (today) to evolve a final strategy in contempt case in which the capital’s court has fixed September 22 for his indictment.

Legal strategists will deliberate on the matter in a meeting held under senior party leader Hamid Khan. The legal wizards are of the view that instead of approaching the Supreme Court, energies should be spent on settling the case in the high court.

The fresh optimism comes after a number of reliefs from the court — including granting of bail to Shahbaz Gill and annulment of a ban on Imran’s live speeches – came as a shot in the arm of the party battling its legal battles. However, the skies over Bani Gala do not appear to be as clear yet.

The former ruling party has still not been able to secure relief regarding the acceptance of resignation of its MNAs by the then deputy speaker NA Qasim Suri. Likewise, the court has also rejected PTI’s petition challenging the appointment of one member of the ECP.

A member of the legal team told The Express Tribune that several options came under consideration in a meeting held earlier after two days of IHC hearing.

He also said that Imran Khan had no issue in tendering an unconditional apology before the five-judge larger bench, while another PTI lawyer believed that legally, the IHC should have quashed all and not just terrorism charges.

Also read: IHC decides to indict Imran Khan in contempt case on September 22

However, another member of the team suggested that the PTI chief should express regret over his remarks about the female judge first before the hearing.

He said that the method to do so was open for discussion as the statement of expressing regrets could be through public meeting or even visiting the judge's courtroom along with party delegation.

The lawyer, however, said that if an unconditional apology was not accepted and the high court does not drop the contempt proceeding, then Imran Khan may approach the Supreme Court for relief.

He believes that now the situation is much more complicated as compared to the one faced in 2014 when contempt notice against Imran Khan was discharged.

Similarly, when the IHC is saying that the purpose of the proceeding is to restore the confidence of the district judiciary, then it is difficult to get relief from the apex court.

Meanwhile, in a related development, Imran Khan is going to address a lawyers’ convention in Lahore on September 21. A larger number of lawyers are expected to attend the event.

It may be noted that compared to its rival parties, the PTI has received more relief from the courts, particularly since the apex court announced its Panamagate verdict in July 2017.

Legal experts point out that the superior courts did not timely rescue the opposition leaders, who faced a tough time at the hands of NAB during the PTI's tenure.

Later, the IHC granted relief to the opposition members.

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