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PTI chief defends use of word

Updated Aug 28, 2013 11:02am


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Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan. —File photo
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan. —File photo

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.


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Comments (23) Closed

Hiba Aug 28, 2013 06:48am

An archaic law that is a left over from the colonial period. What purpose does this serve besides self preservation ? The justices are public servants and thus their performance is a matter of public record. We as tax payers have the right to comment and even criticize. Respect is earned, a concept that seems to be lost on these egomaniacs.

Amjad Wyne Aug 28, 2013 07:21am

If no one can criticize judges then who are they answerable to? They demand accountability from all and yet they do not want anyone to even criticize them.

W.Shaikh Aug 28, 2013 07:38am

I am encouraged by IK's comprehensive response and hoping that Apex Court will be sympathetic to him. However; it would have been much easier to put this thing behind if IK would have extended an unconditional apology. IK could have stated that I held the apex court in a very high esteem but offering an unconditional apology if court feels that my statement could be construed as contempt of court.

Well, I wish IK all the best and hoping that things will not flare up.

Ali K Aug 28, 2013 07:54am

I am afraid, when it is the time to show maturity, Imran Khan cannot get any more childish than this. All he should do is to go in front of the court and tell them that he did mean not to use sharamnaak for Judiciary, and that it was was for returning officers only. Since the Judiciary feels that he used the word for them then he should simply apologize for the unintended reference to them. This is how an adult law-abiding citizen should behave.

Farhan Aug 28, 2013 10:16am

We thought you were The Leader who will Lead us to New Developed Pakistan but you just a mere Politician who can't stand for his own words!

aisha Aug 28, 2013 11:39am

I have lost my faith in the Chief justice and the supreme court after this drama.

Deendayal M.Lulla Aug 28, 2013 12:02pm

Why should the public be caged parrots? It is democracy - everybody has a right to express its opinion. This one-sided law needs to be abolished.

Dr Khan Aug 28, 2013 12:58pm

Our Judiciary instead of taking suo moto notices should work to stop the insulting treatment being given to common man in our lower courts.Not much has been done to give relief to coommon man in Pakistan durin the so called Independent Judiciary.

SALMAN KHAN Aug 28, 2013 01:02pm

IK is a man, and he fight like a man! go on..we stood by with you.

M. Siddique Aug 28, 2013 04:21pm

Supreme court needs to look inwards on the points raised by PTI chief, if in fact those are worth looking into. If Suprememe court shuts the door on people where will they get justice.

This contempt of court phenomenon is left over legacy of the British raj. Pakistan should have a transparent judiciary and be open to fair criticism to advance democracy.

Syed Ahmed Aug 28, 2013 07:48pm

Certain decisions of the SC shows bias towards a party or a person. The advancement of Presidential election date and undue prolonging of the Swiss case which let Zardari off the hook. This is the view of most of the people abroad.

Saeed Aug 29, 2013 12:22am

Reading this news item suggests that Mr. Khan reply was infact a charge sheet againt the courts and withdrawing the contempt charge means the court has accepted the charge sheet. So much for the bravery of the court that stood up to a dictator. Hard on weak and lenient on powerful is the name of the game. Good for Mr. IK that he called the bluff of the courts.

sami ul haq Aug 29, 2013 04:08am

I think this was the clever shot of captaan, in spite of his reiterated concerns over the rigged election, he was not given heed any where. So now by doing this "sharamnak" move at least he managed to hit the dot on "spot". He has given a chance to unleash his grievances and it is evident in his comprehensive reply that he didn't use "remorse" word. "Sharamnak" was not more than a knock at SC.

shami Aug 29, 2013 04:45am

He is a liar, absolutely and has no respect for others.

Syed A Zafar USA Aug 29, 2013 05:38am

Most commentators seem determined to defend IK no matter what. They are so much intoxicated with IK-mania that they do not even care for the love they had for this judiciary and its CJ. It was and is the same judiciary and CJ who in my opinion loved to misuse the judicial powers against its personal and political opponents and in favor of its right wing political parties. This judiciary not only misused Suo Moto against liberal/democratic parties in my opinion and sent home a democratically elected PM but also encouraged its right wing petition filing specialists to register as many cases/petitions as possible against their common political and personal enemies. Now the same supporters/fans are changing colors against CJ just because their messiah is being challenged in the court by their own judicial heroes. Wow.

Well, one thing seems clear, that is either CJ and its right wing supporters were wrong before or are wrong now. When it comes to IK, he is not only arrogant and immature person in my opinion but also a proven flip-flopper. I am pretty sure that the day will come soon when the young supporters of IK will feel sorry for wasting time and energy with IK. Every thing that glitters is not gold. There no such thing called over night change. It never happened in the history. It takes true and qualified leadership with constant evolutionary efforts and sacrifices to bring a true change in a society. Rest is fake. If a change with a touch of a button was possible, the young ones in Egypt and alike countries would not have been disappointed, confused and more lost today than before and there would have been no need of counter revolution. It takes open and independent minds and the ability to distinguish between the thugs and leaders. Please think and analyze honestly and keep affiliations and loyalties aside before making up minds on national issues.

Jehangir Aug 29, 2013 07:17am

@M. Siddique: Well said

Akhlaq Aug 29, 2013 09:40am

No justice from the likes of ch. Igtikhar. Arsalan coverup by him tells the whole story.

Muhammad Nawaz Aug 29, 2013 10:39am

Imran Khan has done nothing wrong in bringing into notice the inefficiency, incompetency and political affiliation of the judiciary at large and lower judiciary in specific. Imran is not the change but his call for change is certainly a change what we feel has brought symbols of something good to come. we expect that Imran is helping new minds to take part in making of new order for pakistan. judiciary's self esteem is not in its action against contempt but but by showing efficiency, competency and neutrality in its decision and not in headline-remarks.

Mir Aug 29, 2013 05:00pm

The judiciary is trying an innocent man because he criticized them. Now that is shameless.

Taha Lateef Aug 29, 2013 06:34pm

IK, we are with you.

Taha Lateef Aug 29, 2013 06:33pm

If the judiciary is to read all the comments here what would their reactions be. I hope that we are not inducted under the implied contempt of court.

Taha Lateef Aug 29, 2013 06:36pm

Below quoted from a article by Babar Sattar:

'In Regina vs. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Lord Denning had observed about contempt of court that, this

Taha Lateef Aug 29, 2013 09:26pm

@Syed A Zafar USA: I agree with most of what you have said but I disagree with a few of your observations.

If we follow IK as cult and without thinking then it is wrong and that is not what most of his young supporters do (or should do). We have seen the various PPP and PML-N governments and although Nawaz Sharif may be intending a lot of good for the nation he previous record also raises misgivings about him and how he intends to work in the future. IK having no experience in running a government does not inspire much confidence either. But considering that he now has a strong presence in the NA we expect him to the government on their toes. We expect him to support or oppose the governement on basis of principal. If he can do that he would have served the nation. Change will not come overnight. It has to be evolutionary but we if do not push for it will not happen.

From A PTI Supporter