Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Islamabad court throws out Imran Khan's plea for acquittal in female judge threatening case

"PTI chairman does not deserve acquittal," says District and Sessions Court Judge Mureed Abbas

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. — Reuters/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. — Reuters/File

  • Ex-PM faces trial for intimidating remarks against female judge. 
  • Islamabad court decides to conduct trial from beginning again. 
  • Case proceedings adjourned till December 20.

ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad on Wednesday dismissed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's plea seeking acquittal in a case registered against him for threatening a female judge.

The district and sessions court judge Mureed Abbas, while announcing a reserved verdict on the plea, said: "The PTI chairman does not deserve acquittal" in the case.

The verdict was reserved upon completion of the arguments from all parties in the case.

The court also decided to conduct Khan's trial all over again from the beginning and adjourned the hearing till December 20.

A case had been registered against the deposed prime minister in August 2022 at Margalla police station under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for his intimidating remarks targetting an additional sessions judge, Zeba Chaudhry, and senior Islamabad police officers during a public rally last year.

Khan had warned that he would “not spare” Islamabad's inspector-general, deputy inspector general, and the female magistrate, vowing to file cases against them for "torturing" PTI leader Shahbaz Gill — then behind the bars — under custody.

The former prime minister, who was removed from power through a parliamentary vote in April last year, had called out the sessions judge, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the capital police, and said she, too, should "prepare" as a case will also be registered against her.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed in Islamabad's Margalla Police Station under Section 7 of ATA.

Later, the PTI chief appeared before the court of Zeba Chaudhry to apologise but told the court's reader to stay witness for his appearance for an apology as she was on leave.

He also submitted an affidavit to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), hearing a contempt of court case against him for controversial remarks, assuring that he would "never do anything in future" that would hurt the dignity of any court and the judiciary.

Later on, the high court quashed the terror charges and also pardoned the PTI chief after he had tendered an apology in the contempt case, subsequently transferring the case from an anti-terrorism court to a sessions court in December 2022.