Pak court reserves verdict on petition accusing PM Imran Khan of contempt

The petitioner said the prime minister had "committed serious contempt". Photo: PTI

The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday (November 26) reserved its verdict on a petition accusing Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan of “ridiculing” the judiciary and committing a “serious” contempt of court in a speech.

The petition, which was filed by advocate Saleemullah Khan on Monday, refers to remarks made by Khan during a his recent speech at the inaugural ceremony of Havelian-Mansehra section of the Hazara motorway at Havelian in Abbottabad, 140 kilometres from Rawalpindi.

The petitioner said the prime minister had “committed serious contempt”, the Dawn newspaper reported. Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who was hearing the petition on Tuesday, asked the appellant, “What problem do you have with the prime ministers speech?”

The petitioner responded that the prime minister had “ridiculed the judiciary”. “The courts welcome criticism. Do you want a trial of an elected prime minister? Do you know the outcome of such a move? Do you want the prime minister to be disqualified?” Justice Minallah asked. The hearing was adjourned until later in the day.

In his speech, Khan had urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa and senior judge of the Supreme Court Justice Gulzar Ahmed to restore public confidence in the judiciary. He said there was a perceived disparity in how the powerful and common people were treated in the countrys judicial system. “Do not hurl taunts at us for favouring the powerful, because everybody is equal before us,” Justice Khosa said in response to Khans remarks.