Wednesday May 22, 2024

Court to hear Imran Khan's petitions tomorrow

LHC will conduct hearing of petition against PEMRA's ban on broadcast of Khan's speeches

By Shahid Hussain
March 08, 2023
Front facade of the Lahore High Court. — AFP
Front facade of the Lahore High Court. — AFP

LAHORE: As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's legal battles continue, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday fixed hearings for his two cases tomorrow (Thursday).

The high court will hear two separate pleas — one filed against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's (PEMRA) ban on Khan's speeches and the other where the PTI chief is seeking to attend court hearings online due to security "threats".

In the plea seeking online hearings, the PTI chief has also requested the high court to provide a “foolproof security arrangement” and assure his safety and well-being as guaranteed under Pakistan’s Constitution.

The petition further stated that Khan should be saved from “orchestrated ‘politically motivated’ false cases registered against him with the sole agenda to expose him, so that he may’ be ‘targeted’ yet again after his survival from the last assassination attempt at Wazirabad.”

In his plea, the PTI chairman has sought permission to mark attendance and attend court proceedings via video link on grounds of “serious threat and risk” to all those present in the court’s premises.

The petition added that strict action should be taken against state machinery if it fails to maintain law and order in court during the hearing of said cases.

The former prime minister, in his plea, has requested the court to ensure that no “adverse action (including arrest)” should be taken against him “till he is properly facilitated and provided proper security arrangement for court attendance and appearances”.

Khan has also sought any other relief that the court deems fit and appropriate to be extended towards him.

In the plea filed against PEMRA's ban, the PTI chief said that the exercise of powers by the media watchdog was "unreasonabl[e]" and in violation of the provisions of the Constitution.

The deposed prime minister also mentioned that in a similar case, former Islamabad High Court chief justice Athar Minallah had declared PEMRA's decision to ban Khan from airwaves against the Constitution.

The plea also said that PEMRA's order had "been passed with a view to controlling the free media of Pakistan and coercing them into submitting to the nefarious designs of the Government".

"The impugned order is liable to be set aside [...] the impugned order is purely driven out of vengeance," the plea added.

He demanded that the court declare PEMRA's order "illegal, without lawful authority".