LAHORE - PTI Chairman Imran Khan may face disqualification for five years from the Assembly membership and from the party office if the Supreme Court convicted him in the contempt case, legal experts say.

While, the PTI’s legal advisers think that Imran Khan has not committed any contempt of court.

Taking sou-moto, the Supreme Court has issued a contempt of court notice to PTI Chairman for his remarks against the court in his three consecutive media talks on July 26, 29 and 30th which were reported in the media.

“Prima facie, it seems that he (Imran Khan) has started a deliberate campaign to scandalise the court and bring judges into hatred, ridicule or contempt. Thus, his above acts call for action for contempt of court under Article 204 of the Constitution read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003,” the first order in suo-moto said.

The experts say that the language used in the first order of the suo moto by the apex court have resemblance with the contempt case against former PM Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani who was disqualified from the Prime Ministership  over the charges of scandalising the judiciary and spreading hate against the judges.

Advocate Mushfaq Ahmad Khan said that it would be appropriate if Imran Khan gives his reaction over the apex court decision changing the Presidential elections schedule and election rigging after becoming part of the proceedings. “Though the judiciary normally accepts the apologies, if any contemnor filed, but there are also instances of punishing the contempt accused which is evident from the Yousaf Raza Gilani case,” the lawyer said.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique said the apex court had rightly issued contempt notice to Imran Khan as he was intentionally levelling rigging allegations against the judiciary. “All political parties are equal in the eyes of the judiciary, and the superior judiciary has proved it by disqualifying a PPP Prime Minister and issuing contempt notice to MQM chief Altaf Hussain when issued derogatory remarks against the judges,” the lawyer noted. He suggested that Imran Khan should apologise from the apex court. They experts say that the political future of PTI Chairman is in the hands of apex court judges.

Justice (Retd) Wajihud Din, who was the PTI Presidential candidate in recent elections, said Imran Khan had not criticised the Supreme Court and the high courts. “Imran Khan has criticised the role of Returning Officers who were not performing the judicial duties while holding the May 11 elections,” the retired judge maintained.

He said that the ROs were the administrative officers of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Therefore, the criticism had not been made on any judicial officer.

However, Wajihud Din said, the PTI chairman’s criticism was of constructive nature as he wanted complete transparency in upcoming Local Bodies and by-poll elections which is mandatory in democracy.

He said Imran Khan should be careful in issuing statements in future because the apex court had no issued him a contempt notice.

PTI Lawyers Wing Lahore President Advocate Muhammad Fayyaz said that the stance of Imran Khan on elections rigging and change in Presidential elections schedule was quite right.

“Our Constitutional petition demanding thumb checking in the four constituencies is pending in the apex court. But, this petition is not being heard due to which the party leaders including Imran Khan expressed concerns over the overall conduct of the judiciary,” Fayyaz said.

“If the rigging proved in the four constituencies, then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should resign from his post and contempt notice against PTI Chairman should be discharged”, the lawyer maintained.

On the other hand, the activists of PTI has started anti-judiciary campaign on social media especially on Facebook and Twitter when they came to know that the SC has issued contempt notice to Imran Khan.