Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Wednesday asked Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to submit in writing his position on the disturbance caused by PTI supporters at the court which forced the chief justice to leave the courtroom.
A large number of his supporters had tried to follow him to the courtroom of the chief justice when Imran Khan arrived at the LHC.
There was a near-stampede when the narrow entrance to the room got blocked.
When the security staff tried to stop PTI supporters from entering by closing the doors, they started hammering on the door and broke a glass pane. At one point, the door was dismantled.
During this commotion, the chief justice left the court room where he was holding proceedings of another case.
PTI Chief Imran Khan had gone to court to attend proceedings of the petition filed by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq who has challenged an order of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The court adjourned hearing till May 15.
The chief justice, in his written order addressing Imran Khan said, “Precautions must be taken by persons with political following who have an added duty to control irresponsible behaviour by their supporters. The brash conduct by fervent supporters in the present case should have been anticipated and prevented.”
The written order of the LHC chief justice further said, “Khan’s counsel expressed regrets that the crowd of supporters forcibly entered the courtroom. The doors of the court were unhinged in the process but court proceedings were not interrupted. However, the forcible entry disturbed the decorum and tranquillity of the court and the case under hearing was shifted to chambers [of the chief justice].”
“Khan’s counsel, Ahmed Awais, was called to the chamber where he regretted the rash behaviour. Thereafter, he advised Imran Khan to leave the courtroom and to disperse the enthusiasts. That was done,” the order said.
Khan left the court without speaking to newsmen. The chief justice said an opportunity had been granted to Khan to state his position on the incident. Sadiq, in his petition, had challenged order of the election commission to the returning officer inspect election record of NA-122. He said returning officers are not responsible for the elections record after they submit it to the ECP. Khan had approached the ECP for inspection of the polling record after he lost election from NA-122 against Sadiq.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2014.
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