Imran Khan should present himself too for accountability: SC

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday observed that when Imran Khan was claiming to expose corruption then he should also present himself for accountability.

He said this when Naeem Bukhari, counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, during the course of Kaptaan’s disqualification case hearing, contended before the court that his client had been playing cricket since 70s and at that time he was not a public figure.

The CJP observed that the skipper may not be a public figure at that time but now he was the public figure. He further observed that when Khan claimed that he had to expose corruption then the same should also apply on him.

The chief justice of Pakistan expressed concern over non-availability of PTI counsel Anwar Mansoor, who filed an application of general adjournment and flew to the United States.

Headed by the CJP, a three-member bench took up Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition for hearing seeking Kaptaan’s disqualification.

Expressing concern over absence of counsel, the CJP added that the court had to streamline all aspects because these were important issues. He remarked that the PTI should have done something or curtailed its counsel.

“Or we should summon Imran Khan to resolve the issue of representation because he is head of PTI so that we could be assisted as to how the case must be proceeded further. This is not the way he (counsel) went abroad leaving the matter part heard,” observed chief justice.

When Bukhari requested that he could file replies on behalf of the PTI, the chief justice observed that merely filing of replies would not work.

Abbasi’s lawyer Akram Sheikh complained that some of the replies had not been filed.

“The order was passed on June 14 with directions to file reply within a week and you are filing the reply now. It seems that the ‘patchwork’ is being done,” chief justice told Bukhari.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial, member of the bench, observed that the bench attended questions and there were many gaps. On Mansoor’s absence, Justice Bandial reminded Bukhari that the court was hearing the case of Article 62 and 63 wherein the bench needed legal assistance from the lawyers, despite number of similar cases.

“This is really upsetting us. We expected to be properly assisted at least today,” the CJP observed further pointing out that the bench was not sitting idle and was looking into documents, which have been so far produced by both parties.

Declining adjournment application, the court directed Ibrahim Satti, counsel for Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), to resume his arguments.