Tuesday September 26, 2023

Blanket relief extended: IHC bars authorities from arresting Imran Khan in any case till May 31

PTI chief's council seeks details of cases filed against ex-premier

By Awais Yousufzai & Web Desk
May 17, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan arrives at Islamabad High Court amid tight security on May 12, 2023. — APP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan arrives at Islamabad High Court amid tight security on May 12, 2023. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday extended its blanket relief order on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s bail plea, refraining the authorities from arresting the former prime minister in any case till May 31.

The decision was taken during the a hearing on the PTI’s plea seeking details of all cases filed against Khan from May 9 — the day when he was arrested — onwards.

The federal government — represented by the additional attorney general for Pakistan, the advocate general for Pakistan and the state counsel — requested time from the court to provide details of cases against the PTI chief.

Approving their request, the court adjourned the hearing till May 31; however, it refrained the authorities concerned from taking action against the PTI chief.

On May 12, the cricketer-turned-politican was granted a blanket relief from different benches of IHC that not only barred the authorities from arresting him but also stayed his trial in the Toshakhana case until the second week of June.

The court also granted protective bail to the former prime minister in three terrorism cases registered against him in Lahore and the Zille Shah murder case.

On the same day, a separate IHC bench accepted Khan's bail in the Al-Qadir Trust case — under the charges of which he was arrested — for two weeks, after the Supreme Court termed his arrest “invalid and unlawful”. It had stopped authorities from arresting the PTI chief till May 17 in any case registered in Islamabad after May 9.

Khan was arrested from the IHC premises by paramilitary forces on Tuesday (May 9), which triggered violent protests across the country. The former prime minister had immediately approached the court for release but it had declared his arrest legal.

Since being ousted from office last April, Khan has waged a tempestuous campaign for snap elections and fired unprecedented criticism at the coalition government and military who he blames for pulling him from power.

He has accused senior military and government officials of plotting a November assassination attempt that saw him shot in the leg during a rally.

IHC orders release of Maleeka Bukhari, Ali Muhammad Khan

In a separate case, the IHC has also declared the detention of PTI leaders Maleeka Bukhari and Ali Muhammad Khan “null and void”.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb ordered immediate release of both the politicians.