IHC bars authorities from arresting Imran Khan in all cases till Monday

IHC bars authorities from arresting Imran Khan in all cases till Monday

Islamabad Web Desk): IHC bars authorities from arresting Imran Khan in all cases till Monday
Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan in multiple cases, including Al-Qadir Trust corruption, case and barred authorities from arresting him till Monday (May 15).

Earlier, the PTI chief reached the IHC amid tight security to secure bail in Al-Qadir Trust case.

On his arrival, a large number of lawyers gathered outside the IHC premises and raised slogans in support of Imran Khan.

Immediately after arriving in court shortly after 11:30am, Imran was taken for his biometrics.

In the first relief, a two-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz granted bail to the former premier in Al-Qadi Trust corruption case for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the court barred authorities from arresting him till May 17 in any new case filed against him till May 9, the day he was detained in the corruption case, which led to deadly countrywide protests.

At the outset of the hearing, which began after an hour-long delay, the two-member bench expressed its displeasure after lawyers chanted slogans in favour of the former prime minister.
Subsequently, the hearing was briefly adjourned for a break for Friday prayers.

After the hearing resumed, Imran Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris presented the PTI chief’s pre-arrest and protective bail applications.

"We have asked for a copy of the inquiry report in another application," he said, adding that NAB should be ordered to provide a copy of the inquiry report.

The lawyer said that they had found out about the anti-graft watchdog’s inquiry report from the newspaper, adding that arrest warrants can be issued only if an inquiry turns into an investigation.

"The reason mentioned in the arrest warrants stated that Khan did not appear before NAB despite repeated notices, however, as soon as the investigation started, an attempt was made to arrest him,” he said.

However, Khawaja Haris informed the court that the inquiry had been converted into an investigation in April and that replies to two call-up notices had been submitted.

He then pointed out the legal flaws of the call-up notices and asked: “It is important to state in what capacity the concerned person has been called, as a witness or as an accused.”
In response to a question by Justice Aurangzeb, Haris said he had not visited the NAB office because the call-up notice was “illegal”.

The PTI lawyer then concluded his arguments, saying that he had raised objections in a detailed reply, subsequent to which no further notice was received.

After that Islamabad Advocate General Barrister Jahangir Jadoon presented his arguments to the court.

The advocate general defended the government’s decision to bring in the army citing the rising violence in the province, following Khan’s arrest.

He also added that there was no solid reason to bring this matter to the high court in the writ petition. At this Justice Aurangzeb said: “Has martial law been imposed here that we stop hearing all applications?”

Addressing the claims made by Khan’s lawyers, the NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi then revealed that the inquiry had started in July after which a call-up notice was issued.

Khan never appeared for the inquiry, he said, adding that notices had also been served to a business tycoon, Zulfi Bukhari, and others.

“Mian Muhammad Soomro, Faisal Vawda, and others who joined the inquiry were also served notices,” he claimed.

After hearing the arguments of both sides, the two-member special division announced its verdict of granting bail to Khan for two weeks.

Then, Imran Khan sought transitory bail in four cases lodged against him in Lahore, in which the court awarded him bail till May 22 in the Zille Shah murder case, then, another bench barred authorities from arresting the former prime minister till the morning of May 15 while hearing the bail petition filed against three terrorism cases.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) had declared PTI Imran Khan's arrest from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) as 'illegal'.

The appex court also directed the PTI chief to approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The directives were issued by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial as the court resumed hearing Imran’s plea against his arrest.

The top court had said Imran would be kept in the Police Lines Guest House but would not be considered a prisoner, and directed the Islamabad police chief to ensure the ex-premier’s security.