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Saturday March 02, 2024

Imran Khan secures interim bail from IHC in seven cases

Imran Khan appeared in court under tight security; PTI claims photographer detained

March 27, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan waves before siting in his car at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. — Screengrab/Twitter/@MusarratCheema
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan waves before siting in his car at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. — Screengrab/Twitter/@MusarratCheema

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan secured on Monday interim bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) till April 6 in seven cases against him relating to the clashes at the judicial complex. 

A petition was filed in the IHC by his lawyers seeking pre-arrest bail in the multiple cases registered in different police stations of the federal capital.

Khan's plea urged the court to stop the federal government from arresting the PTI chief in those cases, adding that the cases have been registered for political revenge.

A bench headed by IHC CJ Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the case.

Earlier, according to lawyer Ali Bukhari, Imran Khan's vehicle was allowed to enter the IHC, while the police stopped all other vehicles.

The former prime minister left Zaman Park with his convoy early morning for his court appearance. 

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, Khan's lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar appeared in the court and contended that the objection related to bio-metric verification shouldn't be imposed on individuals above the age of 60.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked that the bio-metric verification had become very easy now.

The lawyer maintained that they had acquired PTI chief's protective bail from Lahore High Court (LHC) after which they arrived at the judicial complex but they weren't allowed to move further.

"More FIRs against Imran Khan were lodged that day," he added.

At this, IHC CJ asked the lawyer to clarify why had they bypassed a forum to reach IHC.

"Why didn't you go to the trial court first when you have to go there ultimately," he asked.

At this, the lawyer maintained that he would present Supreme Court's judgements in this regard.

After this, Khan proceeded to the rostrum, however, CJ Farooq directed him to stay seated.

Responding to the argument of Khan's lawyer, the justice said that the security threats to the former premier must be genuine as he had been attacked once.

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.

"Imran Khan has the responsibility to ensure a peaceful environment. He didn't even get off the car and people burned cars," he said.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked what the petitioner would do if the administration gave irresponsible statements.

"They [PTI] will arrange its own security if you [administration] don't provide it. Two prime ministers of Pakistan had been assassinated and one was attacked," the justice remarked.

The court then granted interim bail to Khan, after which the PTI chairman left the high court.

Pre-arrest bail plea

As the PTI chief moved towards Islamabad, a petition was filed in IHC by his lawyers seeking pre-arrest bail in the multiple cases registered in different police stations of the federal capital.

The plea urged the court to stop the federal government from arrest the PTI chief in those cases, adding that the cases have been registered for political revenge.

However, the registrar office of the court has attached objections to the petitions as the plea lacks the PTI chief’s biometric.

“How can a petition be filed in a high court before [it is filed] in a trial court,” asked the registrar office.

Later, when the PTI chief arrived at the premises his biometric was conducted. The biometric objection was then removed and the plea was admitted for hearing with other objections.

Khan laments lack of security

When Geo News asked the PTI chief if he was satisfied with the security arrangements, Khan responded: “There is no security, it is our security,”

On a question about political dialogue, the PTI chief refused to speak about it. 

Police detain Imran Khan's photographer

Before the hearing, PTI leader Shireen Mazari said Imran Khan’s photographer and three other civilians had been detained by the police as they were on their way to IHC.

“These 4 unarmed civilians, one of whom is our official photographer, were with Imran Khan car on way to IHC & were arrested without having committed any crime & now apparently taken to Ramna police station. Then we are targeted for criticising the ICT police!” she tweeted.

'Fourth court appearance in a week': Fawad

Earlier, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry lamented that this would be the former prime minister's fourth court appearance in a week.

“What are the charges? You came to court with your supporters because of which the gate [of the court] broke, hence you are a terrorist,” he said.

He said the "imported" government has turned Pakistan into a joke. “Pakistan is being run from London,” he added.

PEMRA ban

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), hours before the PTI’s chief’s departure, imposed a ban on the live and recorded coverage of rallies, public gatherings and processions by any party, organisation and individual being held in Islamabad today.

The regulator said that it was imposing the ban as the vandalism during the PTI chief’s last appearance at the judicial complex had “created chaos and panic” among the viewers and police.

PEMRA said the airing of such content was a violation of the Supreme Court judgment in a suo motu case and rules of the regulator. It warned that the license of TV channels airing such content will be suspended in case of non-compliance.

Security arrangements in Islamabad

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police tweeted that an important meeting was chaired by the inspector-general over the expected court appearance of Imran Khan to discuss security arrangements.

Senior officers, including the operations DIG and SSP, attended the meeting despite being injured. It was decided that field supervision of security arrangements will be taken care of by SSP Yasir Afridi.

Amir Kiyani has been entrusted with coordination on behalf of the PTI, while Malik Jameel Zafar will be the head of coordination between the police and PTI through Kiyani.

A central control room has been established at the Safe City Headquarters, the Islamabad police further shared.

Meanwhile, Section 144 is in force in Islamabad and violators will be arrested.

In light of court orders, only concerned persons will be allowed to enter the court premises, the police tweeted.

Earlier, the Islamabad police spokesperson had said there was no information regarding Imran Khan's court appearance. He had said, however, that the Islamabad police would make security arrangements in light of court orders.