Imran Khan heaves a sigh of relief as IHC approves interim bail in seven cases
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s interim bail till April 6 in seven cases registered against him following clashes at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC).
A two-member IHC division bench, comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, heard the petition.
At the outset of the hearing, the IHC Justice asked Imran’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar about the objections raised by the court’s registrar over PTI chief’s biometric issue on filed pleas and remarked that “Now, biometric has become a cinch even EasyPaisa has enabled that system.”
Justice Aamer asked the lawyer “why did not you approach the Anti-Terrorism Court?” Barrister Safdar responded that they attempted to file a petition at the ATC on March 18, but were not allowed entry after waiting at the gate for 45 minutes.
Justice Aamer remarked that, by bypassing the ATC, you [PTI] were seeking relief from the court. He further remarked that if there had been a disruption of security outside the ATC, it was the PTI’s responsibility to ensure law and order.
The IHC CJ went on to add that Imran Khan, the chief of one of the largest parties in the country, had a responsibility to look after the situation.
“Why he had not gone to the trial court first when that was ultimately where he had to go,” added Justice Aamer.
In response, Lawyer maintained that he would present Supreme Court’s judgements in this regard.
Justice Hassan remarked that the court had asked the chief election commissioner to provide security to Khan several times.
At this, Islamabad Advocate-General Jahangir Jadoon maintained that the trial court was shifted to the judicial complex from F8 katchehri court.
Justice Farooq then remarked what the petitioner would do if the administration gave irresponsible statements.
The court then granted interim bail to Khan, after which the PTI chairman left the high court.
PTI files plea in IHC
Earlier, the lawyers of the PTI chief have filed a petition in IHC seeking pre-arrest bail in the multiple cases registered against him in different police stations of the federal capital.
The plea requests the court to restrain the federal government from arresting the PTI chief in those cases, alleging that they have been registered out of political revenge.
However, the registrar office of the court has raised objections to the petition as it is incomplete and does not contain the PTI chief’s biometric.
The registrar office has questioned,“How can a petition be filed in a high court before [it is filed] in a trial court?”
Police apprehend several PTI activists
Meanwhile, the capital police swung into action after PTI activists violated Section 144 and detained several PTI workers including Imran Khan’s photographer on deposed premier’s arrival at IHC.
Taking to Twitter, PTI’s one of the media cells shared a video showing police arresting workers.
The decision regarding the PTI chief’s appearance before the court was taken on Sunday in PTI’s top brass and legal team huddle at Zaman Park in Lahore.
Two days ago, the Lahore High Court extended Imran Khan’s interim bail in the five cases until March 27 and directed him to appear in the relevant court.
The court had also warned him against making any false statements and stated that contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against him if he did so.
The outcome of today’s hearing will be closely watched, as it could have significant implications for Imran Khan’s future political career.
Pemra enforces blanket ban
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned live and recorded coverage of protests and public gatherings in Islamabad for today (Monday).
Security planned ahead of hearing
Islamabad Police have finalized a security plan for the court appearance of Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.
The decision was made in a meeting of senior police officers under the chairmanship of IG Islamabad, where it was decided that those violating Section 144 will be arrested.
According to the spokesperson, Islamabad Police will make security arrangements in the light of court orders and only relevant persons will be allowed to enter the court premises.
The spokesman has said that if the past practice is followed, the police will use legal methods without discrimination and full enforcement of the law will be implemented on an equal footing.