ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday (17th of March, 2023) stopped the capital’s police from arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till Saturday in the Toshakhana criminal case on his assurance to appear before the trial court on 18th March.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq while hearing the appeal against the verdict of the Additional Sessions Court for restoring the non-bailable arrest warrants of Imran Khan, directed the authorities to ensure foolproof security measures in the trial court on Saturday.
The Registrar Office had raised some objections to the appeal filed earlier in the case. However, the court took up the case for a hearing.
At the outset of the proceedings, the chief justice observed that there were some objections raised by the Registrar on the application. Imran Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris said the biometric objection had been removed.
The chief justice observed that Imran Khan’s undertaking regarding his appearance before the trial court was as worthy as his statement and that contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against him if it were violated.
He said the IHC did not decide on the matter previously and sent it to the trial court with the directive to take a decision after going through the undertaking. He asked on which grounds the trial court had rejected the undertaking.
Khawaja Haris replied that the trial court, in its order, had stated that the non-bailable warrants could not be cancelled due to the situation in Lahore.
He said the incident that happened in Lahore was unfortunate and a case in that regard had already been registered. “We had requested the trial court to cancel or suspend the arrest warrants against Imran Khan.”
The court asked whether the undertaking still existed.
Khwaja Haris said Imran Khan wanted to appear in the trial court tomorrow, adding that his client had been appearing in the courts before. He said that another application had also been filed for Imran Khan’s security.
The chief justice remarked that all were equal before the law, adding that he was told on the administrative side that security arrangements were being made and the trial court judge had also given an order in this regard.
Imran Khan’s Lawyer said that the petitioner was injured and there was a threat to his life during his appearance.
The court observed that it was expected that the sessions court would properly observe the security matter as well.
Khwaja Haris Advocate said that Imran Khan had also sought protective bail in other cases registered against him.
Imran’s lawyers also assured that his client would appear before the court tomorrow and requested that the arrest warrant may be suspended.
He said that they had submitted the original affidavit to the trial court and filing its copy with the IHC.
After hearing the arguments, the court stopped the police from arresting Imran and also directed the PTI chairman to appear before the court during court hours. The court served notices to the respondent and adjourned the case till 21st March.
An application was also filed to get the details of the cases registered against the prime minister, which would be heard by the IHC on Monday.
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