Imran gets relief from LHC in two terrorism cases
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Tuesday secured bail from the Lahore High Court (LHC) in two terrorism cases registered against him over the violence that ensued at the Islamabad Judicial Complex last week.
A division bench, headed by Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, took up the former prime minister’s plea seeking protective bail in two terrorism cases after PTI supporters had clashed with the police in the federal capital.
Imran was granted relief until March 27.
It may be noted that on Monday, the court made it clear that if PTI Chairman Imran Khan seeks relief in terrorism cases filed against him, he must appear in court on Tuesday (today).
Imran arrived at the court premises in a rather discrete fashion earlier today.
The PTI chief could be seen being escorted inside the court premises surrounded by security blankets.
It may be noted that among the multiple hearings, he was scheduled to attend today, one pertained to the security concerns Imran had expressed during his court appearances.
Multiple hearings at LHC
Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh’s court heard a petition against police operation at Imran’s Lahore residence.
Imran maintained that the police had not respected the sanctity of his home and that the operation was illegal. The PTI chief asserted that the LHC’s march 17 orders were not followed, and sought contempt of court proceedings against the concerned authorities.
“My windows were broken, my wife observes the veil and her screams can be heard on camera, the sanctity of my home was breached,” Imran told the court. He also claimed that five of his guards were “taken away and tortured”.
The PTI chief also maintained that he had come to court “secretly through a hidden path that nobody knows and without a convoy”.
“Contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against those who are making a joke out of the judiciary on media,” Justice Sheikh remarked adding that “all parties must respect the court”.
The court ordered the government’s lawyer to present his case on the operation. Furthermore, the judge summoned all respondents, including IG Punjab and adjourned proceedings until March 28.
The same court then heard Imran’s plea seeking details of cases registered against him and ordered the government’s lawyers to appear until tomorrow (Wednesday).
Meanwhile, the Punjab government’s counsel and Assistant Advocate General raised objections over Justice Sheikh and filed a request for the case to be heard by another court.
Irked by the request, the court questioned on what grounds the Punjab government had lost confidence in the single bench.
“This [application] is over a previous judgment,” the judge remarked, “if you repeat this again I will pursue contempt of court proceedings.”
“Suo motu notice can also be taken,” Justice Sheikh remarked as he told the government to follow the previously issued orders and present the records.
Meanwhile, a two-member bench returned Imran’s application seeking protective bail in two National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases.
The court remarked that a bench already exists that hears NAB-related cases and so advised Imran to submit the applications to the concerned bench instead.
The PTI chairman is also scheduled to appear before a court hearing his petition challenging his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
A five-member larger bench headed by Justice Bilal Hassan will preside over the case.