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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has dismissed a contempt of court petition against Imran Khan. The government had filed it against him after he defied court orders and told his supporters to reach Islamabad’s D-Chowk despite clear directions from the court.

The court upheld its order against raids on PTI leaders’ homes and arrests in which it said they must be released if detained.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial with Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Yahya Afridi and Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case.

The court has added the plea in a case filed by the Islamabad High Court Bar Association against the closure of roads ahead of the PTI’s long march to Islamabad.

At the onset of the hearing on Thursday, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali briefed the court on the violence that broke out across the country a day ago.

Audio and video clips of Imran Khan directing party activists and demonstrators to reach D-Chowk were played in the courtroom.

Justice Bandial remarked that the court provides protection to the Constitution and basic rights of people under Articles 16 and 17 of the Constitution but they were not unlimited.

He added the order issued by the government on Wednesday was a “balanced” one.

AGP Ausaf argued that Khan issued the directions to the party activists after the court had allowed the PTI to hold a peaceful long march and assigned them the H-9 ground for the protest.

At this, the chief justice said “probably the court order was not properly conveyed to Khan”.

The attorney general told the court that PTI activists pelted stones at police officials, set fire to armoured vehicles and fire brigades.

CJP Bandial remarked PTI workers were on the roads with their leadership when the violent events happened. Only the leadership could bar activists from performing violent acts, he added.