ISLAMABAD: PTI chief Imran Khan pleaded before the Supreme Court on Tuesday to withdraw its contempt notice against him and clarified that the word ‘sharamnak’ (shameful) he had used in his July 26 press conference was never used in its literal sense or connotation but in the context of “unbecoming”.
But in his 21-page comprehensive reply he severely criticised Election Commission Member retired Justice Riaz Kiani who he said acted more as a representative of the PML-N which had nominated him for the post and described his role as ‘most shocking’.
Mr Khan will appear on Wednesday before a bench comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry that will resume the contempt proceedings against him.
He is facing the charge for his statement at a press conference in which he criticised the role of the judiciary and the ECP as shameful. He alleged that the general elections had been rigged due to the role played by the two institutions.
Mr Khan did not mention the words regrets, apology or remorse in his reply but requested the bench to consider his demeanour in the court and his past services to the cause of rule of law and independence of judiciary in his favour to conclude that he would neither commit contempt of court nor would ever scandalise the court or bring any judge into hatred, ridicule or contempt.
The reply mentions his disappointment and sadness over a June 8 meeting of the National Judicial Policymaking Committee, headed by the chief justice of Pakistan and attended by the chief justices of all the high courts that had expressed satisfaction over the performances of the district returning officers and returning officers in the elections.
“It was indeed shocking to the PTI and its candidates because they felt that their cases have already been prejudged by the NJPMC,” he said, adding that it appeared that the acts of the DROs and ROs had been condoned and they had been given a clean chit.
He said a large number of aggrieved PTI candidates had not filed election petitions because of disappointment arising out of the meeting.
Explaining further why he had vented his frustration at the press conference, the reply said the July 24 Supreme Court order of advancing the presidential election date to July 30 from Aug 6 after allowing a PML-N petition without any notice to the PTI.
Mr Khan said the unfair election process had resulted in the unfortunate exit of Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.