ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Tuesday turned down a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Imran Khan for his recent remarks on the judiciary. A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition and rejected the same saying that the courts do not fear criticism nor are sensitive about it.

The IHC bench noted in its verdict, “The Prime Minister of Pakistan namely, Imran Khan has been elected to the highest executive public office by the people of Pakistan. His role in the 2007 historic lawyers movement for establishing rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution is indeed acknowledged.” It added, “This court obviously does not expect an intent on part of the worthy Prime Minister to undermine the integrity of the administration of justice.

This Court is therefore, satisfied that regardless of the selection of words, Imran Khan could not have intended to undermine the integrity of the administration of justice or the prestige of the Courts.” The court maintained that the benefit of doubt must always goes in favour of the representatives of the people Pakistan. It continued that even otherwise utmost restraint ought to be exercised in initiating contempt proceedings against an elected prime minister because of its consequences, which may lead to disfranchising the people of Pakistan and depriving them from the right to choose as to who should represent and govern them. “This court, therefore, presumes that the worthy Prime Minister was not properly briefed which had led to the factually incorrect statements made during his speech,” said the IHC verdict.