Toshakhana case : Court issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan 

Toshakhana case : Court issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan 

Islamabad (Web Desk): A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday restored Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan's non-bailable arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case.

Earlier, the court reserved its verdict on PTI chief's petition seeking an exemption from appearing before the court.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal heard the case and reserved the verdict till 3:13 today.

At the outset of the hearing, Khan's legal team again sought an exemption citing security threats and also filed a request to be discharged from the case.

Imran's Lawyer Khawaja Haris presented his arguments and informed the court that the former premier was not appearing in the court due to security threats.

The lawyer also filed a plea seeking to declare the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) complaint against the PTI chief as "non-maintainable".

In his arguments, Haris said that under the Election Act 2017, there are different aspects of the law, adding that criminal action can be taken within 120 days of submission of the nomination form.

Haris then read the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and said that the court wrote that the warrant for Imran was issued to ensure his attendance.

“In order to meet the fair trial requirements, the court must first decide on admissibility,” he argued.

Following PTI lawyer's arguments, ECP lawyer Saad Hassan presented his arguments.

He maintained that the PTI chairman’s arrest warrant is still on-field, adding that the IHC had rejected his plea regarding the warrant.

Saad said that the IHC gave Imran some time to appear before the concerned court, adding that the court had suspended the order only for a few days.

The electoral body's counsel added that until the warrant is executed or the former prime minister returns to the court, the warrant is on-field.

"IHC said that if Imran does not appear in court, then the court will 'look according to the law', and looking according to the law means that the court will also look into the issue of it being admissible," the ECP lawyer maintained.

Judge Zafar Iqbal inquired whether the ECP needed more time regarding the application being admissible. To this, Hassan said he does need more time.

The PTI's lawyer then maintained that the person who filed the complaint was not authorized and did not have authority, therefore, the court should hear the case today and decide on the petitions.

Haris added that if the ECP is asking for more time, then how can the case proceed until it is decided whether the case is admissible or not?

After hearing the arguments, Judge Iqbal reserved his decision on Imran’s request for exemption from attendance.

On March 7, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan issued by a district and sessions court in Toshakhana case.

The court had also ordered the PTI chief to appear before the district and sessions court on March 13.

Meanwhile, a district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Imran Khan in a case in connection with his remarks regarding threats to Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry at a public rally in the federal capital.

Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim announced the reserved verdict while issuing notices to the parties for arguments in the acquittal petition.

Dismissing Khan's petition seeking exemption from hearing the case in person, the court ordered the police to produce the PTI chief before it by March 29.

The judge also said that the court will hear arguments on Imran’s petition seeking to be dismissed from the case in the next proceedings.

The case against the former prime minister was registered on August 20, 2022 with the Margalla Police Station in the federal capital over his remarks at a rally in F9 Park where he warned Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and high ranking police officials of dire consequences, as well as the judiciary for what he had called its “biased” attitude towards his party.

The First Information Report (FIR) was lodged hours before another Islamabad police station received a written complaint from a resident of G-11/2 for lodging a case against Imran over making hate-speeches, and inciting rebellion against the army, police and judiciary.

The FIR was registered less than an hour after Imran Khan addressed party workers and supporters at a rally in Islamabad’s F-9 park to express solidarity with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested on sedition charges on August 9, 2022.