ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday quashed terrorism charges against PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a case registered against him for allegedly threatening Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and senior police officials during a public rally in Islamabad on August 20.
A two-member bench, headed by IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah announced the ruling which was reserved earlier today.
Khan was booked in a case under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ACT) for making threatening remarks against the female judge and senior officials. The party had moved the IHC to grant Khan transit bail, but the court had directed the former premier to approach an ATC as it was a terror case.
The FIR registered against Khan states that he threatened Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers at a rally in F-9 Park to “terrorise” police officials and the judiciary.
The main aim was to prevent the police officers and judiciary from carrying out their legal obligations, states the FIR. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed at Islamabad's Margalla Police Station under Section 7 of ATA.
At the outset of today’s hearing, Justice Minallah inquired about the JIT’s opinion in the case. At this, the special prosecutor informed the court that as per the JIT the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) is applicable to the former premier's statement.
However, Imran Khan's lawyer opposed the argument, saying that there are some basic factors required to warrant terrorism charges and that these factors were absent in the case.
"A terror case can be lodged for creating an atmosphere of fear and terror, not on the possibility of creation of such an atmosphere," he said.
He said that Imran Khan spoke about taking legal action and lodging a case against an IG and DIG, contending that the individuals concerned should have filed the case.
He said a "mastermind" was behind this computerised complaint against Imran Khan that has been written with patience.
Abbasi read the controversial bits of Imran Khan's speech in court over IHC CJ Minallah's directive.
"Is that all or is there something else that is controversial? It would open a floodgate if you lodge such cases over speeches," the justice said.
He said that sections of the ATA have been misused in the past.
"Prima facie, not a single section included in the case is applicable [to Imran Khan's speech]," the court observed.
At a rally at the F-9 park in Islamabad, Khan warned that he would “not spare” Islamabad's inspector-general, deputy inspector general, and the female magistrate, vowing to file cases against them for "torturing" Gill.
“We will not spare the IG and DIG,” he said, while addressing the gathering.
The former prime minister called out the sessions judge, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the capital police, and said she, too, should "prepare" as a case will also be registered against her.
The PTI chief led the rally in Islamabad from Zero Point to F-9 Park in support of incarcerated leader Gill, who the party claims was subjected to “gruesome torture” in police custody.
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