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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Terror case: ATC reserves verdict on Imran Khan's exemption plea

Imran Khan's lawyer Sardar Masroof Khan files request for exemption from today's attendance on Imran Khan's behalf, citing security concerns

By Web Desk
March 21, 2023
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan (centre) arrives to appear before a court in Islamabad on September 1, 2022. — AFP/File
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan (centre) arrives to appear before a court in Islamabad on September 1, 2022. — AFP/File

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad reserved its decision on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's plea for an exemption from today's hearing in a case registered against him under terror provisions at the Sangjani police station.

The ATC will take its decision at 3:30pm.

Imran Khan's lawyer Sardar Masroof Khan appeared before the court on Tuesday. The PTI chief's legal team filed a request for exemption from today's attendance on his behalf.

The lawyer told the court that the last appearance of Imran Khan before the judicial complex was in front of everyone. "There was an intention to kill him on his arrival at the judicial complex," the lawyer argued, adding that the PTI chief wanted to appear before the judicial complex today, but the situation does not allow it. 

"The whole nation witnessed the police action against Imran Khan," the lawyer stated.

At this, the judge remarked the whole nation may have witnessed it but he did not as his "cable was not working".

The lawyer said that Imran Khan has to appear before the Lahore High Court (LHC) today. "As soon as he leaves, thousands of workers come out with him. Imran Khan wants to come, but every time people come out and attack and then case are registered against him," the lawyer argued.

Imran had moved the LHC for contempt of court proceedings against the police operation at his Zaman Park residence on March 18. The plea will be taken up today, for which the PTI chief has left Zaman Park for LHC.

During today's ATC hearing, meanwhile, the prosecutor requested the court to reject Imran Khan's request for exemption from today's appearance and argued that the court should observe Imran Khan's attitude.

Sharing that the LHC was at least 400 kilometres away from Islamabad, the judge inquired how Khan would appear before it. 

"If Imran Khan appears before the LHC by 3:30pm, then fine, otherwise a decision will be taken," the judge remarked and asked if there was any guarantee that Khan would appear in court at the next hearing if the request for exemption from attendance is approved today.

The court has not summoned Imran Khan so far, you are giving bail applications yourself, the judge commented.

The lawyer responded that Imran Khan follows the law, and would surely appear in court "if he is alive".

The judge remarked that if Imran Khan wants to come to court, he should give them a date.

A terrorism case was lodged against the PTI chief in October last year at Islamabad’s Sangjani police station after PTI workers held protests and demonstrations outside ECP offices across the country after it disqualified Khan in the Toshakhana reference.