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Thursday April 18, 2024

Prohibited funding: IHC orders Imran to appear before banking court on 28th

The court rejected the request of former prime minister Imran Khan for attendance through a video link

By Khalid Iqbal & News Desk
February 23, 2023
An undated photo of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — Instagram/File
An undated photo of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — Instagram/File

ISLAMABAD: The division bench of Islamabad High Court Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri have rejected the request of former prime minister Imran Khan for attendance through video link and directed him to appear before the banking court on February 28 in the prohibited funding case.

The court has also ordered the banking court to stop the decision on the interim bail of PTI Chief Imran Khan and extended its stay order against the verdict of the banking court. The division bench of Islamabad High Court was hearing the petition of Imran Khan here on Wednesday.

The lawyer said that a request was filed to the session court seeking to form a medical board, adding that although they welcomed the medical board there was no need for it. Special Public Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi said that nine other bail petitions were also pending in the same case. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had stated that it did not require arrests to the extent of these petitioners, adding that the banking court had confirmed the bail of three bank employees in it. The prosecutor said that the court had directed Imran Khan to appear before it, submit surety bonds, and join the investigation process. The petitioner neither joined the investigation process nor appeared before the court, he said. He further said that Imran Khan’s medical reports were taken from his own hospital which was not enough to grant relief to the accused.

Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri said the trial court had given exemption from appearance to Imran Khan nine times, asking whether the prosecution had challenged any of the orders. The prosecutor said the court had never asked the PTI chief to “walk” to court, saying that reaching the court area would suffice. He requested the court to direct the petitioner to appear before the concerned court by February 25. Additional Attorney General Munawar Dogal said it was necessary for any petitioner to appear in a personal capacity to get interim bail as per the directives of the top court. He said that if the petitioner could appear in one court then why was he not appearing in another court? The AAG requested the court to turn down the petition of Imran Khan against the banking court’s order. Justice Jahangiri said that the petitioner had sought just exemption from appearance and requested for some time. Meanwhile, Justice Kayani asked whether the Wazirabad incident was investigated and evidence was collected.

The AAG said that the medical report of the petitioner had stated that there was swelling on his injuries. He asked for how long the swelling would last. Imran’s lawyer said the LHC had stated that, in an extraordinary situation, it was enough to appear before the court once to get bail. They had given three applications to FIA to involve them in the investigation but it was not done. The lawyer said Imran Khan would appear in the baking court before March 3. After this, the court ordered Imran Khan to appear before the concerned court by February 28 and stopped the banking court to take any decision on his bail case until that time.