Lawyer's quip makes CJP wonder if Imran 'wants to breach law'.

ISLAMABAD -- While the Supreme Court on Friday wondered whether PTI Chairman Imran Khan would breach the law during his long march to the capital, the Islamabad High Court observed that the administration is empowered to grant permission for a jalsa, but the decision must be taken in accordance with the fundamental rights of assembly and without hampering citizens' freedom of movement.

During the hearing of a federal government contempt case against the PTI leadership, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial asked Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for the former prime minister: 'Would you expect he (Imran Khan) will breach the law?'

The observation came when the counsel, in response to Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman's earlier suggestion to the court that PTI be asked to hold the rally in a peaceful manner, said he had no specific instructions in this regard.

Heading a five-judge SC bench, the CJP observed that in contempt cases, the court could not issue any directive and referred to the Nov 8 dissenting note of Justice Yahya Afridi in the contempt case in which the judge had expressed his reservations over the issuance of directives to the inspector general of Punjab regarding the registration of an FIR of the Wazirabad firing incident in which Imran Khan was also injured.

IHC CJ seeks balance between party's right of assembly, free movement of citizens

At the outset of the hearing, government's counsel Salman Aslam Butt told the SC bench that on behalf of the interior ministry, he had furnished a statement with newspaper clippings and a USB containing clips and screenshots of Twitter accounts of different PTI leaders.

He claimed that the contents of USB depict the intention of the party leaders to reach D-Chowk on May 25 instead of confining themselves to the ground between sectors H-9 and G-9 despite the court's ruling against doing so.

He said Imran Khan had stated in his reply that he could not receive the court order in time due to jammers around him, but the contents showed he and other party leaders were in touch with each other through cellphones and even giving interviews to different TV channels and sharing posts on Twitter.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan observed that it would be better if copies of the USB were provided to the respondents, which was instantly provided to Salman Akram Raja in the courtroom.

The CJP observed that the court expected that Imran Khan would respond to the contents, and then it would...

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