Cipher case: Judicial remand of PTI chairman, vice chairman extended for 14 days

Cipher case: Judicial remand of PTI chairman, vice chairman extended for 14 days

Islamabad (Web Desk): A special court, formed to hear cases under Special Secret Act, on Wednesday extended Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan and party's vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi's judicial remand till September 26.

The special court judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain presided the hearing at Attock jail after the law ministry issued a notification on Tuesday, expressing no objections to conducting the trial in jail. The special court judge had requested that proceedings be held in Attock jail “due to security reasons”.

The PTI chief’s 14-day judicial remand expired on Tuesday.

Imran Khan appeared before the court alongside his legal team comprising nine lawyers, while the FIA team investigating the cipher case was also present in the jail.

Earlier, Advocate Salman Safdar in his media talk outside the jail before court proceedings, said that all applications were pending, the most important of them was for bail.

He added that the prosecution was not cooperating with the court on the bail application. “There is no justification to keep the PTI chairman in Attock Jail.”

Meanwhile, the hearing of the cipher case against PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was to be held in the judicial complex. Qureshi was presented in the court.

However, there, the court officials informed Qureshi that the judge had gone to Attock jail for a hearing and said they would ask the judge if the former minister could be allowed to return after marking his attendance.

At this, Qureshi asked the authorities why the judge had gone to Attock jail, to which he was informed that there was a hearing on Imran’s case.

Judge Zulqarnain then extended Qureshi’s judicial remand by the same period as well, directing him to be presented before the court again on September 26.

During Tuesday’s proceedings in the IHC, Chief Justice Amir Farooq heard arguments from Mr Khan’s lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat, who was seeking his Khan’s transfer from Attock to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, the upgrade of his prison class and his trial in an Islamabad court, instead of jail premises. But Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal argued that the law ministry’s notification to conduct the trial in jail was issued for ‘one time only’.

But the court observed that it would determine the law ministry’s authority, preceding the possibility of another notification being issued. IHC CJ reserves verdict on plea for moving trial to capital, and for shifting PTI chief to Adiala. 

It is pertinent to mention that the hearing was held despite IHC has reserved its verdict on moving trial to Islamabad and the verdict is yet to be announced.