The non-bailable arrest warrants issued against PTI Chairman Imran Khan by a district and sessions court in the Toshakhana reference were suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday until March 13.
The verdict was made public by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq after it had been reserved earlier in the day. Additionally, the court ordered the PTI head to appear in the district and sessions court on March 13.
The 70-year-old former premier has twice skipped indictment hearings in an Islamabad sessions court in the case, despite being recovering from a gunshot wound from an attempted assassination in Wazirabad last year.
He is blamed for hiding, in his resources statements, subtleties of the gifts he held from the Toshakhana — a store where presents gave to government authorities from unfamiliar authorities are kept.
Imran was scheduled to be indicted by the sessions court in the Toshakhana Reference on February 28, but his attorney had asked the judge to let him skip the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts. His indictment had been postponed twice previously.
Following the issuance of arrest warrants for Imran, the judge postponed the hearing until March 7.
With the court summons, an Islamabad police team was sent to Lahore on March 5 to arrest Imran. However, after the PTI chief evaded arrest, it returned empty-handed.
Imran had then asked the sessions court to revoke the warrants for his arrest, claiming that removing the summons would give him “a fair opportunity to appear and defend himself” in the case.
However, on March 6, the sessions judge ruled that the PTI chairman “wilfully avoided” appearing in court and upheld the warrant, rejecting his request.
Imran asked for the orders of the sessions court from February 28 and March 6 to be overturned in a petition that was filed today with the IHC. He wanted a “fair opportunity” to appear in court and defend himself.
IHC hearing Ali Bukhari and Qaiser Imam, Imran’s attorneys, urged the court to revoke the PTI chief’s arrest warrants at the beginning of the hearing.
Nonetheless, the court commented that the warrants were not given for captures however to approach charges against Imran in the Toshakhana case.
Justice Farooq stated, “You appear in court for the framing of charges and then request an exemption.” The law is no different for everybody. The court has what powers.
He emphasized that “the court must adopt a legal procedure” and stated that Imran was required to appear in the sessions court today but did not.
“You tell, when will he show up?” The judge inquired. Imran Khan must also appear in front of me. He can come on Walk 9 and show up under the watchful eye of the meetings court as well.”
The IHC CJ also stated at one point during the hearing that Imran would receive “nothing on merit” on the petition. What should I do? Please provide me with a date for Imran’s court appearance.
Here, the PTI legal counselor said that Imran had serious security dangers to which the appointed authority answered that everybody was getting dangers nowadays.
I have been informed by the Islamabad IG that all of the judges face security threats. He instructed me to contact security. But if I put the public at risk, how will I ensure my own safety?
“Should I close the court down? A security strategy has been developed for both the sessions court and the high court. You individuals yourself make security dangers,” he expressed, bringing up that what occurred external the IHC at the past hearing — on Feb 28 — was before everybody.
“When you bring 2,000 people to the court, what will happen? How did Benazir Bhutto pass on?” Justice Farooq questioned
He wanted to know if the PTI lawyers were willing to promise that Imran would appear in court. You still haven’t prepared to go to court. Justice Farooq stated, “Don’t make fun of the system; be fair to it.”
Jahangir Khan Jadoon, the Advocate General of Islamabad, stated: Imran is getting ready for an election rally while they are discussing security threats here.
In any case, the appointed authority added that he would have rather not discussed anything political.
As far as it matters for him, Bukhari said that few different bodies of evidence had previously been enrolled against the PTI administrator. ” Imran Khan has been imprisoned inside his own home. He can’t go out.”
In this instance, the judge stated that the former premier could not receive relief in a case that had not yet been registered.
The court then gave the PTI chief’s attorneys 30 minutes to talk to Imran and decide when he would appear in court.
Imran’s attorney requested a court appearance date of four weeks when the hearing resumed.
However, Justice Farooq stated that no longer than four weeks could be granted. We can instruct the sessions court to begin proceedings to declare him an absconder if you say so.
He stated, “You won’t get a new F-8 Katcheri in four weeks; it will remain the same.”
Imam asked the judge to give his client as much time as possible at that point.
After that, the court summoned AG Jadoon to the podium.
“On March 9, Imran Khan can appear in court. We don’t have any issues. He can appear early in the morning in the sessions court and arrive at the IHC by 3 p.m., he said.
Here, Imran’s legal advisors contended that they had reservations in regards to the security to which Equity Farooq said the meetings court would guarantee the arrangement of legitimate security.
The judge made the observation that the public’s safety was more important than his own: “We are not worried about ours.”
He added that life and passing were in God’s grasp. ” We die if we die.
The verdict was then withheld by the court.
Hearing at the sessions court Earlier in the day, the Toshakhana case was also heard by the Islamabad sessions court.
Sardar Masroof Khan, Imran’s junior attorney, appeared in court at the beginning of the hearing. Mohsin Shahnawaz, leader of the PML-N, and Saad Hasan, counsel for the Election Commission of Pakistan, were also present.
Masroof responded that he was unaware of Imran’s appearance in court when Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal asked the PTI chief’s lawyer if his client would not also appear today.
He stated, “But his senior legal team will be arriving by 10am.”
“Do you not have any information about Imran’s court appearance?” Iqbal, ADSJ, questioned, ” Is his underwriter not in court?”
The PTI attorney stated that a notice could not be sent to the guarantor due to the ongoing legal process.
At that, the adjudicator said that the underwriter will undoubtedly guarantee that the previous top state leader showed up in court.
In the meantime, the attorney for the ECP stated that the court ought to be informed in the morning if Imran intended to appear before the court. Why waste your time?” Added he.
The hearing was then put on hold for a while.
PTI lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat appeared in court when the hearing resumed and informed the judge that Imran’s legal team was at the IHC. He then requested that the hearing be postponed until next week, saying, “I will submit my power of attorney in court within a day or two.”
ADSJ Iqbal stated that Imran’s summons was being processed.
Marwat asserted, “Imran Khan is not feeling well… he has a disability,” and added that a “circus” surrounding his client’s arrest could be observed by everyone worldwide.
ECP’s Hasan, on the other hand, pleaded with the court to notify the PTI chief’s guarantor and cancel his surety. He likewise mentioned that the meeting be dismissed till Walk 9.
At that point, Marwat made it clear that Imran had to appear in front of the IHC on March 9 or face consequences. It has been informed to me that Imran will have an easier time appearing in F-8 Katcheri next week,” he continued.
The judge remarked at this point: Therefore, Imran will not appear in court on March 9 either.
ADSJ Iqbal said that he was waiting for a decision in the case from the IHC and noted that Imran’s lawyer was not present in court today.
“However, if the circumstance does not change, we can make a decision. Imran has never even personally appeared in court. What’s more, it appears to be that he will not show up today too.”
In addition, the judge noted that the law was the same for everyone, pointing out that the case would fulfill all legal requirements.
In the meantime, Shahnawaz claimed that the PTI chief had not appeared before the judge in six months while the case was pending in court.
In this instance, ADSJ Iqbal stated that no case had been prolonged in the courtroom. Despite the fact that Imran Khan’s exemption requests were repeatedly accepted, he did not appear before the sessions court.
The judge then told Imran’s lawyer Marwat to bring his power of attorney to the court and put off the hearing until after two in the afternoon.
Lawyers Sher Afzal Marwat and Faisal Chaudhry represented Imran when the hearing resumed, and PML-N leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha also attended.
Marwat argued in front of the court that the IHC had received a request to revoke Imran’s arrest warrants.
The judge made the observation at this point that the IHC hearing caused a brief delay in the hearing. Let’s see, but by 3 p.m., the Toshakhana case will be decided, he said.
In addition, Marwat informed the court that Imran’s absence from court was caused by a number of factors. According to him, Imran had repeatedly stated that his life was in danger. He went on to say that a similar attack had occurred previously at a district court in Islamabad.
The attorney stated, “The current situation suggests that if an attack were to occur on Imran Khan, it would take place inside the courtroom.” Notwithstanding the danger to Imran’s lives, there is likewise a danger to the existences of legal counselors, judges and residents,” he said.
The appointed authority, in any case, said that orchestrating security was the court’s liability and requested that Imran’s direction advise him regarding their reservations. He said that he would hold the hearing until March 9 and that he would make the necessary
The reference, which charges that Imran had not shared subtleties of the gifts he held from the Toshaskhana (during his experience as the state leader) and continues from their announced deals, was documented by legislators from the decision alliance last year. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) came to the conclusion on October 21 that the former premier had in fact made “false statements and incorrect declarations” about the gifts.
The Toshakhana is a division of the Cabinet Division that stores gifts that foreign dignitaries and heads of other governments give to rulers and government officials. As indicated by Toshakhana rules, presents/presents and other such materials got by people to whom these principles apply will be accounted for to the Bureau Division.
According to the watchdog’s order, Imran was ineligible for the position under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.
After that, with a copy of the reference, the ECP had approached the Islamabad sessions court to request criminal proceedings against Imran for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries while he was prime minister.
Imran and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry have been issued bailable arrest warrants by the Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday for using “intemperate language and contemptuous remarks” against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.
The order was issued by a four-member ECP bench that included Justice (retired) Ikramullah Khan, Shah Mohammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana, and Nisar Ahmed Durrani.
Imran had been “deliberately seeking adjournments on one or other pretext,” according to the order, which Dawn.com has a copy of. The PTI chief was also “reluctant to appear before this commission, which amounts to mockery on law,” according to the statement.
“Such lead of respondent couldn’t be passable, as his non-appearance before this commission is by all accounts purposeful.”
According to the statement, the electoral watchdog had no choice but to issue a bailable warrant for Rs50,000 with two sureties “in the same amount each.”
It stated, “The bailable warrants shall be executed through the Islamabad Inspector General of Police Office to immediately take follow-up action and list the matter on March 14.”
Imran approaches LHC for ‘idiot proof security’
The PTI boss likewise moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) today for the arrangement of safety as well as consent to go to court procedures by means of video connect.
Justice Shahid Karim scheduled the petition’s hearing for Wednesday (tomorrow).
The Federation of Pakistan, the Punjab and Islamabad police chiefs, the Lahore commissioner, the Islamabad deputy commissioner, and others were among the 17 respondents mentioned in the plea.
The petition requested that Imran receive “foolproof security arrangements” and that his well-being and safety be guaranteed.
It mentioned the court to save Imran from “coordinated politically spurred bogus cases”, adding that no unfavorable move, including capture, ought to be initiated against the ex-chief till he is “appropriately worked with and gave legitimate security game plans to court participation and appearances”.
In addition, it stated that the respondents should be punished severely for failing to uphold law and order on the court grounds and during court hearings involving Imran.
Last but not least, it stated that permission should be granted to record attendance via video or Skype link due to the “serious threat and risk” to all those in attendance at the court.