ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday remarked that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan was not the ‘Ladla’ (favourite) of the apex court.

Justice Nisar made these remarks while heading a two-member bench which was hearing a suo moto case related to encroachments and environmental degradation in the Bani Gala area of Islamabad.

As hearing of the case started, the CJP grilled Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry for his remarks giving the impression that the Supreme Court had a soft corner for Imran Khan with regard to a case pertaining to the illegal construction of his Bani Gala residence.

Justice Nisar inquired from the minister to clarify his remarks otherwise action would be taken against him. He maintained that the minister should clarify that in fact, it was the government and not the court which allowed Khan to make the illegal construction.

Fazal said that the government gave these permissions not just to Khan but to over a million other residents of Bani Gala. At this, the CJP asked him, “Kindly repeat it categorically and loudly”.

The chief justice also asked, “Why Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb is the giving statements that the court gave a concession to Imran Khan? Why these people want to bring the courts into disrepute?”

The minister informed the court that a summary has been forwarded to the federal cabinet for regularization of illegal structures in Bani Gala. To a court query, the minister said that the CADD did not take any action against Khan as the matter was subjudice. The chief justice also asked him that the court had not refrained the CADD from taking action in this matter.

Justice Nisar ordered to refer all the cases of illegal constructions around the Korang Nullah to the federal ombudsman, besides directing all the affectees to submit their applications before the ombudsman within two days.

Later, the court deferred the hearing for two weeks.