Saturday, October 01, 2022

Imran Khan's arrest warrant issued over controversial remarks against female judge

Arrest warrant for PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been issued by a magistrate of Islamabad's Margalla Police Station

Pakistans Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. — Reuters/File
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. — Reuters/File

  • Khan's arrest warrant has been issued by magistrate of Islamabad's Margalla Police Station.
  • FIR includes four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including 506, 504, 189, and 188.
  • IHC has issued an arrest warrant for Khan due to his non-appearance in court.

A magistrate of Islamabad's Margalla Police Station has issued arrest warrant for PTI Chief Imran Khan, Geo News reported on Saturday.

The area magistrate issued an arrest warrant in the case registered on August 20 against the PTI chief for his remarks regarding Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.

The FIR includes four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). 

The former prime minister is facing contempt charges for his controversial remarks about additional district and sessions judge.

The court has issued an arrest warrant for Khan due to his non-appearance in court. 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued the warrant hours after the former prime minister submitted an affidavit in a contempt case against him.

PTI leaders warn govt will 'regret' this decision

Following the issuance of the warrant, PTI leader Asad Umar warned the government to not arrest Imran Khan, saying that they will "regret" the decision.

Meanwhile, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the issuance of a warrant in such a "weak" case was pointless.

"A circus has been created in the media by issuing warrants over pointless legal clauses and a foolish case which was not needed," he wrote on Twitter.

Shibli Faraz refutes claims regarding Khan running away

Refuting all claims that Khan has left his residence for an unidentified location, Senator Shibli Faraz shared a picture of the PTI chief feeding his dogs at his residence.

“Imran khan feeding dogs at this very moment while news rife that police intending to arrest him,” he wrote.

‘Legal process’

Islamabad Police, in a brief statement issued on its Twitter handle, said that issuing an arrest warrant is a legal process.

“Khan did not appear in the court on the previous hearing,” it said, adding that the warrant have been issued to ensure Khan’s appearance in the court.

The Islamabad Police further added that Khan has not yet taken his bail from the sessions court. “If Khan doesn’t appear in the court in the next hearing then he will be arrested,” it said.

Khan submits affidavit 

Earlier today, Khan, for the third time, avoided tendering an unconditional apology in a contempt case as he submitted his response to the IHC.

In the last hearing on September 22, Khan surprisingly apologised before the IHC and assured the court that he would not issue such a statement again — leading the court to delay his indictment.

The PTI chairman appeared on Friday before the court of judge Chaudhry and told the court staff that he wanted to apologise to the judge, however, she was on leave.

But in the latest response, Khan, although mentioning that he "might have crossed a red line while making a public speech", fell short of apologising for his remarks.

"The deponent (Khan) never intended to threaten the judge [...] and that there was no intention behind the statement to take any action other than legal action," his response affidavit stated.

Khan said that he assures the court that he is willing to explain and clarify before the female judge that neither he nor his party sought any action against her.

"...the deponent is willing to apologise to the judge if she got an impression that the deponent had crossed a line," the PTI chairman stated.

Khan assured the IHC that he would "never do anything in future" that would hurt the dignity of any court and the judiciary, especially the lower judiciary.

The PTI chairman added that he is willing to take any further steps that the IHC deems necessary and that he never intended to interfere with the process of the court or impugn the dignity or independence of the judiciary.

The former chief executive said that he stands by his September 22 statement and "once again assure[s] this court that he would always abide by the afore-referred statement, in letter and spirit".

The hearing of the case will take place on October 3, when IHC will review Khan's response.

The case

On August 23, a larger bench of the IHC issued a show-cause notice to Khan after taking up contempt of court proceedings against him for threatening the judge during the rally.

The PTI chair had staged a rally in the federal capital on August 20 to express solidarity with his chief of staff Shahbaz Gill after claims of torture inflicted on him in custody.

He warned the Islamabad inspector-general and deputy inspector-general that he would “not spare” them, vowing to file cases against them for subjecting Gill to alleged inhuman torture.

Turning his guns towards the additional sessions judge, who sent Gill into physical remand on the police's request, Khan then said she [the judge] should brace herself for consequences.