The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has decided to delay the indictment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan until October, after the party chief apologised for ‘crossing the line’ by threatening Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.
The IHC was set to indict Imran Khan during its hearing today (Thursday) over the contempt of court case filed against him for his remarks against the judiciary in a speech on August 20. Speaking at a rally in Islamabad, the PTI chief had threatened to take action against the judge and Islamabad police’s inspector general (IG) and deputy inspector general (DIG).
“We will not spare the IG and DIG…. Judge Zeba Chaudhry should also prepare herself as a case will be registered against her,” he had said. Subsequently, the PTI chief was named in a terrorism case at Margalla police station on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed for threatening the woman judge.
The case was heard today by a five-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. The bench comprised Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb, Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri and Justice Babar Sattar.
Imran told the court, “I am ready to apologise to the female judge.”
“The court thinks that I have crossed a line. My intention was not to threaten the female judge. It the court says so, I am ready to personally go to the judge and apologise,” he said, adding, “I assure the court that I will not do something like this in the future.” He said he was ‘sorry’ if he had crossed a ‘red line’.
At this, he was told to submit an affidavit detailing what he had said and done, and Justice Minallah said that it was his personal decision if he wanted to visit the judge personally or not, but for the purpose of the court, the realisation and the apology was ‘enough’.
The hearing was adjourned till October 3.
Previously, the IHC had given Imran Khan two chances to resubmit his responses, which the High Court had deemed ‘unsatisfactory and disappointing’, warning him that if he did not apologise, he would be indicted.