Appears in court without usual ‘protocol’ n Court adjourns hearing on contempt petition by PTI chief against Zaman Park operation n Stops NAB from harassing Imran Khan n IHC also grants bail to ex-PM till April 6 in murder case n ECP summons Imran, Umar, Fawad in contempt case today.
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD – Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan yesterday got major relief from courts as the Lahore High Court granted him protective bail till March 27 in two terrorism cases registered in Islamabad, while 10-day protective bail in two of the NAB cases.
Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court adjourned the hearing on the contempt petition filed by Imran Khan against the Zaman Park operation, seeking response from the IG Punjab and other parties.
More than 90 cases have been registered against Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan in different cities of the country, which include terrorism, arson, interference in government matters, incitement and other provisions.
On Tuesday, Imran Khan appeared in the Lahore High Court to seek protective bail in various cases. Imran Khan first appeared in the court of Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh earlier on Tuesday, for hearing on the application filed by PTI against the police operation in Zaman Park.
During the hearing of the case, the lawyer of the Punjab government expressed no-confidence in Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh. The Assistant Advocate General requested that the case be transferred to another court. The court expressed its displeasure at the Assistant Advocate General and said, “You do not have confidence in the court, this is an earlier decision, if such thing happens again in the future, the court will take contempt of court action.”
Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh further remarked that action could be taken by taking a suo motu notice, this case was already in proceedings, the court had already issued the order in this regard, “You should not insult the judiciary,” remarked Justice Tariq Saleem.
We have repeatedly given you notices for furnishing record of the cases, but you are asking for more time. It is a modern age of WhatsApp, you can ask for a copy through WhatsApp,” he maintained. During the hearing, Imran Khan came to the rostrum and said that an operation was conducted at his house despite the court orders. Imran said that he was in Islamabad when the police launched an operation at his residence while his wife was alone at the house.
Imran said in the court that his wife screamed when the police broke the windowpanes.
Imran Khan said, “Today, I have reached the court secretly without any convoy, I have come in an unidentified car.” He said that he was stopped by placing barriers in Islamabad so that he could not reach the court.
The court directed the public prosecutor to appear with instructions related to the Zaman Park operation. Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh remarked, “We have to act according to the law, we only talk about the law”. The court later adjourned the hearing on the contempt petition till today seeking response from the IG Punjab and other parties.
Later, the LHC granted protective bail to Imran Khan for 10 days against the NAB notices.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Ali Baqir Najafi heard the petition filed by Imran Khan to seek protective bail in two NAB cases. Salman Safdar, the lawyer of Imran Khan, while giving arguments, said that an institution was already investigating the Toshakhana case, the trial was also going on, subsequently, NAB has also started the investigation of Toshakhana.
The lawyer argued in the court that the notice of NAB’s appearance was dated March 16th but the notice was received on Monday last. Many cases are being made against Imran Khan. So far 97 cases have been registered against him.
The court stopped the NAB from harassing Imran Khan while approving Imran Khan’s protective bail against NAB notices for 10 days.
During the hearing, Imran Khan came to the rostrum and stated that the election had been announced but all of his time was spent with the court and lawyers due to large number of cases filed against him.
Imran said that his election campaign had confined from home to courts, adding he was not getting enough time for the distribution of party tickets to candidates. Imran further stated that in last 50 years not a single case was registered against him, but 97 cases had been registered against him in past 6 months.
ISLAMABAD TERRORISM CASES:
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan also appeared in the Lahore High Court seeking protective bail in two Islamabad cases.
Justice Shehbaz Rizvi and Justice Farooq Haider heard the application for Imran Khan’s protective bail. The court granted Imran Khan’s protective bail till Monday (March 27) in the cases registered under anti-terrorism provisions.
The court directed Imran Khan to sign the application, upon which Imran Khan signed it in the court.
It may be recalled here that an application for protective bail was filed on behalf of Imran Khan in two cases registered in Islamabad’s Golra police station and CTD, the court had ordered Imran to appear on Tuesday at 2pm. It was declared that if he seeks bail then he should be present in the court at the appointed time.
Earlier, Imran Khan left Zaman Park for appearance in Lahore High Court with special private security squad.
On the occasion, he was not accompanied by many workers while he had normal police security and reached the High Court. Imran’s vehicle stopped at different traffic signals on its route to the court.
As Imran Khan left Zaman Park for the court hearing a number of party workers were seen running beside his car, but he did not have the kind of crowd with him that he used to bring with him on previous court appearances.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court another case extended bail to Imran Khan in an attempted murder case filed by PML-N leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha. A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of Khan’s petition and extended bail to the PTI chief till April 6.
Besides this, the IHC bench also accepted an application of Khan seeking his one day exemption from his personal appearance before the court and directed the investigation officer and Khan’s counsel to finalize the matter for recording of Khan’s statement in this case.
During the hearing, the PTI Chairman’s counsel appeared before the court and submitted that his client wanted to appear before this case but he had to appear before the LHC. Therefore, he requested the court to grant one day exemption to Khan. At this juncture, state counsel Zohaib Gondal informed the court that the petitioner has not joined the investigation yet. He added that they issued notices twice to him but he did not appear.
Faisal said that if the investigation officer deems Khan’s physical statement necessary then, he will accompany him to Lahore to record Khan’s statement or he can record his statement when Khan will come to Islamabad for his appearance before the court.
Later, the IHC bench extended Khan’s bail and deferred the hearing of the case till April 6 for further proceedngs.
The case of “attempted murder” was registered at the Secretariat police station in the federal capital against him on the complaint of PML-N leader Mohsin Ranjha who claimed that he was attacked by the PTI protesters when he was visiting the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on 21.10.2022. In another development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has summoned Imran Khan, alongside party leaders Asad Umar and Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, in a contempt case today.
According to the cause list of cases, the ECP besides other important cases will also hear the contempt of ECP case against PTI chief Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar.
The ECP had initiated contempt proceedings against Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry for issuing statements against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner. The commission had previously announced its decision to issue bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan and other senior party leaders in January for failing to appear before the commission in the contempt proceedings.
Originally published at www.nation.com.pk