The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday sought a detailed reply from Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over the violation of the apex court’s May 25 order, which restricted the party’s Azadi March from entering D-Chowk in Islamabad.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Umar Ata Bandial, heard the contempt of court petition filed by the government against the PTI chief over his violation of previous orders. The government argued that the former ruling party went against SC’s order and entered D-chowk.
In May, the top court had issued clear instructions to hold its Azadi March protest near Peshawar Mor between the H-9 and G-9 areas of Islamabad. However, Imran Khan and his protestors made their way to D-Chowk, prompting the government to call in the Pakistan Army for the security of the capital’s Red Zone.
During the hearing, the CJ said, “We are giving another chance to Imran for an explanation”, adding that the court had been proceeding with “caution” and “patience” in this case.
“According to the material available with the court, a notice should be issued to Imran Khan. We are still giving him a chance to explain,” he said.
The bench further expressed disappointment to the two PTI lawyers present in the court, Babar Awan and Chaudhary Faisal Hussain, over violating the court’s trust in the May 25 order.
“When our trust is breached then it is very wrong,” said Justice Bandial and he noted that it seemed that the apex court was misled through the two counsels.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan also noted that the SC order was misused. The hearing of the case was then adjourned until next week.
Earlier, in a reply to the SC over the contempt of court plea, Khan had maintained that he was unaware of any statement or undertaking having been submitted to the court on behalf of the “senior leadership” of the party ahead of its May 25 long march.
In a video shared by journalist Talat Hussain, Imran Khan, standing on top of his container on May 25, can be heard directing his supporters to reach D-chowk. He told the public that Supreme Court has said that would be no hurdles.